From a 1945 Life mag spread of Times Square in color. Reddish color, anyway.

The Automat was well-entrenched in American culture by '45; they had over 50 locations in New York and served 350K per day. Fast-food chains put them out of business eventually; people wanted hot fries instead of creamed spinach.

Neon on the background: The Paramount Hotel. Still around under the same name.