Featuring an original new song written and performed by Mel Brooks, THE AUTOMAT tells the 100-year story of the iconic restaurant chain Horn & Hardart, the inspiration for Starbucks, where generations of Americans ate and drank coffee together at communal tables. From the perspective of former customers entertainer Mel Brooks, Starbucks founder Howard Schultz, Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Secretary of State Colin Powell, the Horns, the Hardarts, and key employees – we watch a business climb to its peak success and then grapple with fast food in a forever changed America.

DIRECTOR: Lisa Hurwitz
WRITER: Michael Levine
CAST: Mel Brooks, Elliott Gould, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Colin Powell, Carl Reiner, Wilson Goode, Howard Schultz.



“The delight of “The Automat”… is its blend of social and intellectual history with its anecdotal history—its evocation of the links between intention, practice, and experience; its depiction of a largely lost aesthetic of daily life.”

Richard Brody, The New Yorker