Remembering the Automat With a Night of Food and Films on March 4

REWIND: Lisa Hurwitz’ ‘The Automat’ employs archival footage and paperwork to take a look at extensive-long gone Horn & Hardart Dining places. (Provided Picture)
Hot doggy!
The Lighthouse Worldwide Film Society will screen a double characteristic and dole out Texas-style sizzling dogs with aspect dishes on Friday night, March 4, at the Surf Metropolis Firehouse. Doors will open at 6:30 p.m. when the food stuff will be served and the screening will commence at 7.
Tickets obtained in advance on line at are $10 every single or $12 at the doorway. The film/hot pet dog combo is $16 on the internet and $18 at the doorway. Libations and beverages will also be accessible. The night is sponsored by Wally’s, Scojo’s and the Ocean County Cultural and Heritage Commission.
“The Automat” is a 79-moment documentary directed by Lisa Hurwitz. Making use of archival footage, clips from outdated videos that had been established in automats, historic paperwork and interviews, it explores the history, architecture and appeal of the Horn & Hardart eating places in Philadelphia and NYC from 1902 by means of 1991. It was 10 several years in the building, so some of the men and women interviewed are no more time alive, but they all had great memories of dining at automats with their marble tables, brass fixtures and meals hiding powering home windows.
Individuals interviewed consist of Mel Brooks, Carl Reiner, Colin Powell, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Philadelphia’s initially Black Mayor Wilson Goode, Elliott Gould, previous staff and descendants of the chain’s founders, Joseph Horn and Frank Hardart. They all sang the praises of the once well-known and ubiquitous (pretty much 50 in Philly, about 100 in New York) automats. Brooks, accompanied by a 26-piece orchestra, really sang, doing a tune he composed particularly for the documentary that glorified the chain’s New Orleans-fashion espresso.
Horn & Hardarts restaurants ended up indeed incredibly distinct with their espresso, emptying pots after 20 minutes to maintain it fresh. Smithsonian Magazine noted they offered 90 million cups a calendar year and adopted Irving Berlin’s “Let’s Have An additional Cup of Coffee” as their unofficial concept music. Other automat favorites ended up macaroni and cheese, baked beans, salisbury steaks, creamed spinach, pies and cakes. “And the food was so fresh,” said Gould.
The automats drew as various a clientele as the persons interviewed. “There was all varieties of people today,” claimed Ginsburg, who made use of to do her research at automats, “poor people to matrons in furs.” Without a doubt, the Horn & Hardarts ended up the most democratic of sites, becoming open up to individuals of all races and ethnicities very long ahead of that was the norm in most eating places.
“Boasts unmistakable charms,” wrote a Hollywood Reporter reviewer of the film. “I liked each minute of it,” opined a scribe at Maltin on Movies “Beguiling,” wrote The Wall Avenue Journal.
The night’s second film is “One All The Way,” directed by David Baram, who will be in attendance. It is a quick documentary about 83-year-aged Harry and his good friends Ron and Larry. They have an obsession and are normally browsing for the ideal “Hot Texas Weiner,” a deep-fried concoction only found in their hometown of Paterson, N.J.
“The touching and poignant journey finds a way to encourage just about every lover of very hot pet dogs and humanity,” wrote the people at the LIFS, “and, Sure, of program, ‘Hot Texas Weiners’ will be served at the event!”  —R.M.

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