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Horn & Hardart Automats were America’s first major fast-food chain. Paupers once sat shoulder to shoulder with investment bankers at communal tables, sipping coffee or enjoying delicious and nourishing food. In her debut feature documentary, filmmaker Lisa Hurwitz investigates the rise and fall of this unique institution that bridged the diversity of class, language, gender and race in the urban melting pots of the East Coast. Featuring interviews with Mel Brooks, Elliott Gould, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Colin Powell and others, Sure to nourish your soul and your mind, this work in progress  screening with the Director is FREE.

Sponsored by AARP.

The film maker, Lisa Hurwitz, will be in attendance and discuss the film.

“The Automat was the Ellis Island of restaurants” Lisa Hurwitz

Meet Me at the Automat Smithsonian Magazine


Documentary / Dir: Lisa Hurwitz, featuring Mel Brooks / 2020 / USA/ 80 min


festival calendar


Portland Museum of Art

7 Congress Square,
Portland, ME


Sunday, March 10, 11:00am



Running Time

80 minutes


There is no charge for reserving your free tickets.

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