Nickel and Timing! Audio Film Review of ‘The Automat’

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CHICAGO – Patrick McDonald of audio film review on “The Automat,” a nostalgic look at a long-gone New York City/Philadelphia restaurant institution, a directorial debut by Lisa Hurwitz featuring interviews with Mel Brooks, Ruth Bader Ginsburg and others. In select theaters now.

Two business partners, Joseph Horn and Frank Hardart, combined engineering and food service to open the automat concept in the early 1900s, which featured individual windows with meal items and desserts inside, accessible for nickels that were put in a coin slot. They especially were all over New York City, so that arts community … represented in the documentary by Mel Brooks, Elliott Gould and the late Carl Reiner … used it both as a cheap place to eat and a subject of film and song.

The Automat
Photo credit: A Slice of Pie Productions

Audio Film Review of “The Automat” by Patrick McDonald of …

”The Automat” is in select theaters, see local listings. Featuring Mel Brooks, Carl Reiner, Elliott Gould, Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Colin Powell. Written by Michael Levine. Directed by Lisa Hurwitz. Not Rated senior staff writer Patrick McDonald

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© 2022 Patrick McDonald,

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