New documentary covers the history of automat eateries

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Reel deal for the Automat

The Automat, a well-known foodery of the ’60s and ’70s, is perhaps coming again. Its costs not.

Self-service, coin-operated, no ready, no tipping, no waiters, no reservations, a cashier made change for nickels, dimes, quarters. Menu? Forget for a marriage or bar mitzvah. We’re speaking mac and cheese, Salisbury steak, baked beans, mashed potatoes, creamed spinach, soup, sandwiches, actually crappy lemon meringue pie and two nickels for espresso.

Operated by Horn & Hardart, the final one — forty second and third — folded 1991. The cut-cost-op was meals behind little glass doorways ringed with steel. Stick cash in the slot, take away your selection, servers behind the partitions saved choices refilled.

Everybody went. Those years radio’s huge identify was comic Jack Benny. In the ’60s he threw a star-studded gala at one of these crappy Automats with its picket tables, picket chairs, paper napkins, bus your individual dishes, purchase along with your pocket change. Cheap quick meals solely. Invitation solely. Black tie. Guests like Audrey Hepburn, Gregory Peck, Jimmy Stewart, Veronica Lake, Gene Kelly.

I used to be no one. I used to be solely the spouse of comic Joey Adams, then president of theatrical union AGVA, American Guild of Variety Artists. I do know all this as a result of I used to be there.

Jack Benny gave us every a paper roll of cash. It was assist your self, choose your individual dinner, carry it, schlep to no matter rickety desk was accessible, bus your dishes your self.

There is now a documentary in theaters about the Horn & Hardart chain. This chew into America of yesterday was liked by Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Colin Powell, Elliott Gould, Carl Reiner, Mel Brooks. Our financial downturn has begun speak about bringing again the Automat. The solely distinction is perhaps the lemon meringue pie. Still crappy, however now may cost a little greater than a dime.


A Caged life?

Nicolas Cage stars as himself in “The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent.” The comedy’s about him.

Nic: “It’s a fictionalized, surrealistic, abstract, comical account of a week in my life. A culmination of the perception of me in the media. Blips in my life that have gone public. My interviews and whatever interests me.” (In it he will get one million bucks to point out up at a wealthy fan’s celebration.) “And some elements in it are truthful,” he mentioned.

Nicolas Cage at the premier of
Nicolas Cage at the premier of “The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent” in Austin, Texas on March 12, 2022.
Photo by Rich Fury/Getty Images for SXSW

With Tiffany Haddish and Neil Patrick Harris, the factor creeps out April 22.


Ruff selections

Putin’s poop has gone to the canine. Even four-legged animals react to the Ukraine horror. The American Kennel Club, with a 146-year-old present, is so in demand that it permits solely 2,500 entrants. It simply decreed its annual contest, parading this planet’s Best of Breeds and champions, will not settle for entries — neither hounds nor judges — from Russia. The annual televised occasion, postponed on account of the pandemic, can be held in June.


His civic obligation

A be aware about how great our new mayor is. He’s dominated individuals convicted of pot-related crimes might now be first in line to promote marijuana. Great. But homelessness, crime, filth, rubbish, police in jeopardy, residents shifting out, inexpensive housing, subways, excessive costs, locations closed, meals issues, visitors congestion, price of residing — overlook it. Now, at a celebration, in entrance of cameras, he says he’s a mayor of all New York City together with its nightlife. Are we fortunate or what?


Russian away

Politics ex-radio/TV commentator Dennis Miller? For two years he’s hosted an interview present on Russian Television. William Shatner a okay a Captain Kirk additionally syndicated a present on RT. After Putin’s invasion each left.


Manhattan’s clogged divorce courts are easing up. One financier began separation proceedings three weeks earlier than his wedding ceremony.

Only in New York, children, solely in New York.

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