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What was Chuck E. Cheese like back in the 1980s?


Syzygy1

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  • 1 month later...

Chuck E. Cheese was a haven for "bad kids" like me. The pizza sucked, but I didn't care about that. I liked the arcade games. There were a lot of more obscure games there like Major Havoc. And there were some cocktail cabinets. I loved that place... last time I went, it was full of redemption games (aka kiddie gambling.)

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  • 2 months later...

When I was a kid this place was AWESOME, it was like Disney World...every kid wanted to go there. Pizza was this thing that you rarely had, usually you went out for a pizza. A lot of places around my hometown were 'eat in' places. Mother's pizza was a big one, back then Pizza was amazing, now it sucks. I mean its ok but nothing beats pizza out with the family. That was around 85 or 86. I played MACH 1 at Chuck E Cheese, that was wicked back then, I remember sitting transfixed by the amazing graphics.  I don't remember much else other than the animatronics, those were BAD ASS, I loved the whole place. For awhile in my late twenties I worked as a Balloon Twister at kids parties, I give major props to people and companies that make products to entertain children, they are doing gods work. 

 

My parents used to own a place in Orlando, Florida [around Altemonte Springs]. There was this place called Star Bucks that was basically a wicked arcade with tons of amazing games, ticket skee balls and those casino type machines but instead of money, they spit out little tokens. There was also a... like a cell or a tank but it was filled with dollar bills and if you scored high enough on a casino machine or something [I don't recall exactly] well you could go into the tank for a bit and wind would blow up and you'd try to grab the money. It reminded me sooooooooooooooooooooo much of the old show FUN HOUSE.  Man that place was the bees knees, my parents loved it, I loved it. Family fun was a big deal back in those days....back when the nuclear family was still intact. The 80's were a kickass time to be alive. Long live the good times!

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Our ChuckE establishment was strangely inviting to fat men. It was a like a roller coaster buffet or something. They'd pull up to the station and load their plates. Climb the hill while walking (struggling) back to the table. Sit down and go on a 20-minute binge of ups and downs, cresting and descending the mountain of food on their plates. When the "ride" was over they'd pull into the "station" and go around again.

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  • 3 years later...

I remember there was one near me that opened in like 1981,,, puppy pong was there.. cheese maze.. hated the pizza and may have barfed in a garbage can.. first saw major havoc there.. joust was there.. think i remember night driver.. battlezone.. mr do..

 

Then it became kiddie gambling when i went with my cousins in the 2000s.. hated it..

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in the Eighties cec was peak.. it is because of corona it is failing.. and the fact kids don't play games anymore..

 

On the subject of cec does anyone remember GADGETS???? like cec but owned by warner bros.. this was before they owned six flags.. i went to the one in atlantic city one summer and found it cool as heck.. played a lot of qbert there..

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I had fond memories of 90s Chuck E Cheese but when I was little I was scared of the rat man lmao Even in the 90s they still had way more video games than more recent years. One year I went to a birthday party of my sister's friend in the mid 2000s and spent the entire time there just playing Galaga and Ms. Pacman because they had an Anniversary cabinet. The only other video game they had was Mario Kart GP which I really really wanted to play but the use item button was broken.

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On 9/5/2023 at 5:59 PM, DragonGrafx-16 said:

I had fond memories of 90s Chuck E Cheese but when I was little I was scared of the rat man lmao Even in the 90s they still had way more video games than more recent years. One year I went to a birthday party of my sister's friend in the mid 2000s and spent the entire time there just playing Galaga and Ms. Pacman because they had an Anniversary cabinet. The only other video game they had was Mario Kart GP which I really really wanted to play but the use item button was broken.

They also had that son of a gun SPIDER STOMPING game that made me feel uncomfy when i looked at it,,,, that's seriously something hanna-barbera would come up with,, , but a frikin KID instead???? Birdman penelope pitstop daphne and the others were legal adults (or in daphne's case late high school).. yeah get kids traumatized in THAT WAY from a game at chuck e cheese,,,, we didn't have that when i was growing up..

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  • 6 months later...

When did all the classic video arcade machines (i.e. Space Invaders, Pac-Man, Donkey Kong, Dig Dug, Q*bert and others) start disappearing from your local CEC?

 

For example: my former CEC was at 9120 SE Powell Blvd., which lasted from 1982 to 2020. It was first remodeled in 1988, two years before "Concept Unification" began, therefore I know that some of the older video arcade games disappeared from there by then in favor of more skill games like air hockey and skee-ball.

 

I know as early as when CEC and ShowBiz first locked horns, and this was after the merger was approved in 1985, CEC ran TV commercials that proclaimed "fewer video games!" so I want to think that they may have removed the classic video arcade games during the same time period they did "Concept Unification" (c. 1990-93) which saw all the former ShowBiz Pizza-centric characters be replaced by those specific to CEC (from "Rock-afire Explosion" to "Mr. Munch's Make-Believe Band") and, eventually, the ShowBiz brand itself phased out.

 

~Ben

Edited by ColecoFan1981
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On 7/29/2015 at 10:43 PM, save2600 said:

 

Hahaha, those are called C-band sat dishes. Besides Cable, VCR's, Beta, Laserdisc and CED's - THOSE were really the shit back then!

 

Oh and did_not_know you grew up in Alaska - neato! :lol:

 

post-13896-0-02379000-1438224224_thumb.jpg

I lived most of my life in Alabama and my older brother used to call those old dishes the state flower because even after they weren't used anymore people would just leave them up anyway.

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For a short time we had both a Showbiz pizza place and a Chucky Cheese in the early 80s. Both places had a great atmosphere and the arcade games were great. I remember the tokens at CEC were minted with the year on them. Eventually Showbiz closed and then CEC moved to the old SB location. It stayed there for probably 25 years or so. Of course that part of town had become kind of shady over the years. I remember near the end they put a chain link fence around the property probably to discourage people from loitering around. I heard that they eventually started charging a small cover charge at the door because of the kids coming in without a dime to spend. It finally moved a few years back to Eastdale Mall which is an improvement but not by much.  

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  • 1 month later...
1 hour ago, CreeB said:

I remember the "SMILE,,  AMERICA,,  AT CHUCK E CHEESE" ads..  intense patriotism..

ShowBiz Pizza interestingly used that same jingle from 1985 until 1987.

 

On the flip side, this 1985 Chuck E. Cheese's ad (proclaiming "fewer video games") uses ShowBiz's earlier "Share the Fun" jingle...

 

~Ben

 

Edited by ColecoFan1981
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I kinda wanna see what the 1977-1979/1980 era CEC locations had in terms of games, and not animatronics. I only know the OG location had Pong, Sprint, and Starship 1 (AHHHHHHH!!) They would also have Puppy Pong on tables while you waited for your cheap pizza. They had a Cheese Maze (to channel your inner Jerry Mouse) and that damn orange spinning ride (kiddie cyclotron.) Yes, they did have animatronics in portraits, but I don't care about the animatronics! I only like the GAMES!!

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On 3/19/2024 at 12:11 PM, bigfriendly said:

For a short time we had both a Showbiz pizza place and a Chucky Cheese in the early 80s. Both places had a great atmosphere and the arcade games were great. I remember the tokens at CEC were minted with the year on them. Eventually Showbiz closed and then CEC moved to the old SB location. It stayed there for probably 25 years or so. Of course that part of town had become kind of shady over the years. I remember near the end they put a chain link fence around the property probably to discourage people from loitering around. I heard that they eventually started charging a small cover charge at the door because of the kids coming in without a dime to spend. It finally moved a few years back to Eastdale Mall which is an improvement but not by much.  

One of those locations you speak of would be at 3201 Macon Rd. in Columbus, GA, which was a ShowBiz Pizza Place upon first opening in February 1982.

 

Between 1990-93, all remaining ShowBiz Pizza stores were renamed Chuck E. Cheese's as part of "Concept Unification."

 

~Ben

Edited by ColecoFan1981
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