North Texas-based Chuck E. Cheese is bringing down the final curtain on its popular animated band.
A kids’ favorite restaurant group is taking them out of everywhere in the country except one.
The animated characters and their band have been part of the childhoods of several generations. Children and adults across the country may remember attending birthday parties at either Chuck E. Cheese or ShowBiz Pizza Place, depending on where they grew up and how old they are.
Now, it’s the end of the road for the beloved characters who revolutionized local family entertainment with groundbreaking technology of the time.
CEC Entertainment announced earlier this month that nearly all of its animation teams have retired at all of its 550-plus venues nationwide. Only one robot squad will remain at a site in California near Los Angeles.
The announcement comes three weeks after the release of “Five Nights at Freddy’s,” a horror film featuring similar puppets.
The film is based on the popular video game about a security guard who must survive five nights at “Freddy Fazbear’s Pizza,” a restaurant that appears inspired by pizza chains like Chuck E. Cheese and ShowBiz Pizza Place, while the animated characters come to life. Try to kill him.
Although Chuck E. Cheese is saying goodbye to its moving teams, the Irving-based chain plans to upgrade its locations over the next few years. They’ll see new technology, interactive dance floors, kid-focused arcade games, and new trampoline areas at some locations.
Chuck E. Cheese’s brand shift comes after the family entertainment and pizza chain fell on hard times during the COVID-19 pandemic. The nearly 50-year-old company filed for bankruptcy in 2020 as the restaurant industry as a whole was affected by the spread of the virus.
Full-service Chuck E. Cheese restaurants lost about 80% of their average revenue at the height of the pandemic. Before that, The company still carried nearly $1 billion in debt on its balance sheet during the fourth quarter of 2019.
The restaurant chain has managed to bounce back since the pandemic. Chuck E. Cheese announced earlier this year that it would divest 500 free birthday parties for kids For the lucky winners nationwide to celebrate their most common birthday, September 9th.
The popular entertainment center chain has also brought back its fan-favorite “Birthday Star Free” promotion, where a birthday child gets to celebrate for free with 12 or more paid birthday party guests.
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