American Playhouse: Season 3, Episode 6

The Cafeteria (21 Feb. 1984)

TV Episode  |   |  Comedy, Drama
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Ratings: 8.4/10 from 14 users  
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Esther, a traumatized Holocaust survivor, frequents a Manhattan cafeteria where she meets Aaron, a Jewish writer, who tries to uncover the ghosts of her past.



(adaptation), (story)
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Title: The Cafeteria (21 Feb 1984)

The Cafeteria (21 Feb 1984) on IMDb 8.4/10

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Episode credited cast:
Zohra Lampert ...
Esther Mirkin
Morris Carnovsky ...
Boris Mirkin
Howard Da Silva ...
Pierre Epstein ...
Berger (Aaron's agent)
Guy Sorel ...
Gruenwald (lawyer)
Robert Heller ...
Leib Lensky
Michael Shilo
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Himself (archive sound)


Esther, a traumatized Holocaust survivor, frequents a midtown cafeteria in 1960s Manhattan, where she meets Aaron, a successful Jewish writer. Although Aaron is drawn toward her, he soon comes to realize that she is haunted by her memories and hallucinates about the past and discovers that even though she has physically survived her experiences, her soul has not. Written by

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Comedy | Drama





Release Date:

21 February 1984 (USA)  »

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Did You Know?


The last TV project for Howard Da Silva. See more »


Aaron talks about the cafeteria as located on Broadway, but it is clearly located on Seventh Avenue. See more »


Esther: [to Aaron] How many women have you had affairs with between 72nd Street and 96th Street?
See more »


References Beach Party (1963) See more »

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User Reviews

Bittersweet story of fantasy and tradition, set in New York City.
19 September 2000 | by (Park Hills, Missouri USA) – See all my reviews

A very poignant story centered around a cafeteria on the upper west side of Manhattan, where the elders of the Jewish community meet each day. It might also be called an "almost-love story", a narration of the brief encounters of the two main characters: Aaron, a writer and author; and Esther, a factory worker who lives with her aged father, the both of them survivors from the Nazi labor camps of World War II. As with virtually all of Isaac Bashevis Singer's works, it draws heavily on his own Polish background; strong narrative, a passion for life and tradition.

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