Have you ever heard of Chuck E. Cheese? Well of course you have!
In just one simple word, I'll describe how I feel about Chuck E. Cheese.....Sad.
Let me explain....
Once upon a time back in the 80's there was a magical place called Showbiz Pizza. The one I went to all through my childhood was in a shopping center called Antioch Mall.
I grew up going there. The shopping, the food court, the bowling alley and my favorite place, Showbiz Pizza.
One of the major differences from Showbiz and Chuck is the anticipation that was available to a kid. Chuck E. Cheese has the game area and an eating area, yes, but in the eating area there is always something happening. Always commotion, never stillness. That giant mouse is always singing or gabbing. And that area is always brightly lit.
Showbiz on the other hand had a dim eating area to add mystery to what was going to happen. There were 3 stages for performances.
Stage 1 was the Wolfman who talked in a smoky, husky voice.
Stage 2 you would find the best musical band to ever exist...The Rockafire Explosion!! Band members were: Mitzi Mozzarella on vocals was a mouse dressed as a cheerleader. Beach Bear on guitar. Duke Larue was a dog in a spacesuit who played the drums. And Fatz Geronimo on keyboards was a giant gorilla.
And stage 3. was the loveable Billy Bob bear with a puppet type creature called Lonney Bird.
Back then the shows only ran every so often. So when you were playing your video games and skeeball, you were also constantly looking over to the dining area to see if anything was about to happen. It was anticipation at it's finest!!
Finally, you would hear that curtain open and the action began! It was simply MARVELOUS!
Naturally, when I was in highschool, I got a job there. I was uniformed in khaki pants, a red Showbiz shirt and a visor with my gigantic 80's hair climbing out the top of it. I was a hostess/server and even had to sing Happy Birthday to patrons via intercom that the entire place could hear.
I had mad highschool crushes there. Angst, drama, and excitement was all mixed in to that job. It was the funnest job I ever had.
But one night we were informed that there were about to be some major changes. They were getting rid of all of our beloved characters on that stage to replace them with this giant mouse...Chuck E. Cheese.
Times, they were a changin. And they certainly did.
I was there through the overhaul and it was heartbreaking to see. Out with the old and in with the new. It was certainly an end of an era in my life.
I miss those times, but I will never forget the way I felt at Showbiz Pizza... where a kid could really be a kid.
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