I find the opening few sequences where the King of Tyronia meets the banker pretty interesting. The King, who cannot even afford to give his daughter money for the movies, says he would like to give the peasants of his country electric lights and heat. The banker asks the King how much he would need. "Oh, about 5 million," says the King. "No, no!" replies the banker, "50 million!" Ring any bells?
Horn and Hardart were the entrepreneurs who brought the European model to the U.S., opening the first restaurant in Philadelphia in 1902. From there on it was expansion time, and many Horn and Hardart automats would open up in Philadelphia and New York. Competitors, who could see how well the H&H model worked, would open up other restaurants as well. Drive-in restaurants struck a blow to the automat model of business in the 50s and 60s, and by the 1980s, with fast food becoming commonplace nationwide, the few automats that were left were hanging on by a thread. Since the last Horn and Hardarts shut down in 1991, there have been several attempts at revival, but none have been successful in the long term
Links and SourcesA kiss on the hand may be quite continentalbut diamonds are a girl's best friend.A kiss may be grand, but it won't pay the rentalon your humble flat, or help you at the automat...
Meet Me At the Automat, Smithsonian
European Automats, Victualling
An East Coast Oasis, Victualling
A book about the Automat by one of the descendants of Hardart: The Automat (M. Hardart & L. Diehl)