The automat holds a hallowed spot in New York City and every history buff has flirted with automat obsession. It’s therefore not surprising to discover that The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel is also obsessed, so much so that the show has built a recreation of the Horn & Hardart automat for season 5. We’re excited to see how it looks as a filming location for the fifth and final season of the award-winning show.
For the last week, the set has been rising inside a church in Crown Heights close to the Untapped New York office. First, it was just a bar being constructed and sanded on the sidewalk. Then interiors started getting built. The final set features Art Deco details and lettering, along with backlit display cases. Each section has a different food type listed: sandwiches, soups & salads, hot foods, pies and cakes, hot beverages, and ice cream. Edison bulb chandeliers hang from the ceiling. Lettering that spells HORN & HARDART (minus the D) has been placed on the exterior windows.
Starting this morning, vintage cars line the streets near the sets, including trucks and a taxi cab, along with Plymouth, Dodge, and Buick vehicles. People dressed in period costumes walked the side streets on their way to holding and set locations. [Update: We were invited into the set this evening and got clearer photos of the set for you!).
The automat could be considered one of the world’s first fast food concepts and was first created in Germany. Business partners Joseph Horn and Frank Hardart established the first automat in the United States in Philadelphia in 1902. A few years later, the automat made its entrance into New York. Some of the chain’s most notable locations in New York City included one on 57th Street and one on 104th street.
By the 1970s, however, with the influx of many new fast food chains, the fifty Horn & Hardart locations in New York City had dwindled down to just a handful. Horn & Hardart’s 104th Street automat now houses a City MD, the only indication of its past is the Art-Deco style terra cotta ornaments above its windows. For many years prior, it was a Rite-Aid. The 57th street automat was completely demolished for the development of the Hilton Vacation Club, and none of its Art-Moderne facade remains today. The last Horn and Hardart automat, located at 200 East 42nd Street at 3rd Avenue closed on April 8, 1991.
The New Life Tabarnacle Church, on the corner of Bedford Avenue and Sterling Place, is no stranger to film shoots. In 2016, it was the set for Wonderstruck. The movie starred Julianne Moore and Michelle Williams and is based on the Brian Selznick novel of the same name. Wonderstruck was set both in the 1920s and 1970s, and in the film, Crown Heights served as a stand-in for the Upper West Side of the time. Crown Heights has been been a popular neighborhood for filming locations and has served as the backdrop for High Maintenance, High Fidelity, Gotham, Modern Love, Luke Cage, and more in the past.
Next, check out Filming Locations for the Marvelous Mrs. Maisel