Posted September 11, 2006

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Chuck E. Cheese

Founder Nolan K. Bushnell and his Link to the Mouse and his new uWink Restaurant Franchise
Chuck E Cheese, has made many changes since the founding father, Nolan K. Bushnell
and it was restructured to a Redemption & Jumper/Climber Animatronics Arcade

In 1972, Nolan K. Bushnell, developer of pong with the help of Al Alcorn, designer of pong. Nolan K. Bushnell, an American electrical engineer from Utah and founder of Atari, Inc. needed to develop a distribution channel for his new Atari coin operated games so in 1977 Nolan K. Bushnell purchased Pizza Time Theaters back from Warner Communications. Nolan K. Bushnell and Atari originally started Pizza Time Theaters in 1977 but Time Warner had bought both from Nolan K. Bushnell in a 25 million dollar deal. Nolan K. Bushnell with Pong In 1978 Nolan K. Bushnell left Time Warner and had bought back the rights to run Pizza Time Theaters because he knew that if kids could play games in public in a safe family environment, that this would be a new type of entertainment franchise. Link Chuck E. Cheese - The Joking Animatronic Mascot Chuck E. Cheese's Pizza-Time Theaters This new pizza chain was then renamed Chuck E. Cheese's Pizza-Time Theaters. Under Nolan K. Bushnell's ownership, Chuck E. Cheese grew to 300 outlets. Each Chuck E. Cheese was outfitted with animatronics puppet animals that played music and sang as a new entertainment phenomenon. The fun loving animatronics, Chuck E. Cheese, a large comical adult mouse, was located in the "theater" and was the main attraction. Nolan K. Bushnell loved the Disney animatronics at Disneyland and even tried to get employment their in the early days, however, being unsuccessful gaining employment he eventually started his own animatronics with the lead of being a big mouse, probably given the idea by the famous Mickey Mouse. These pizza parlors contained over 100 video games, pinball machines, and other types of games, and was the country's largest pizza parlor. Chuck E. Cheese's Pizza-Time Theaters went public in 1981 and increased Nolan K. Bushnell's worth to somewhere in the range of $70 million. ShowBiz Pizza owned by Robert L. Brock, competed heavily with Nolan K. Bushnell's animatronics and pizza/arcade theme and were in several of the same areas as Nolan K. Bushnell's franchise. Win A Prize at Chuck E. Cheese Tokens For the kids it was all about the gold-colored tokens because you would get lots of tokens to play games if you bought some pizza. These were the games of the classic era of video game arcades with loads and loads of new shiny coin operated video games which nobody had ever seen before. Joust, Tempest, Position, Centipede and Pac-man to name a few. The original gold tokens are hard to find expensive collectables at this time. Chuck E. Cheese even offered wooden nickels. See a Chuck E. Cheese Token collection. Link Showbiz Tokens: Link In 1983 Chuck E. Cheese's Pizza-Time Theaters loses $15 million while Atari, the video game giant, loses $539 million because of the great American Video Game Crash of 1983. In 1984 Chuck E. Cheese's-Pizza Time Theaters fell on bad times and entered bankruptcy. At this time Nolan K. Bushnell leaves the faltering pizza company. While in Bankruptcy, Nolan K. Bushnell's largest competitor in the Pizza Business, ShowBiz Pizza, buys out Chuck E. Cheese's Pizza-Time Theaters. The newly named Chuck E. Cheese emerged from bankruptcy and it survives today as a successful entertainment and restaurant chain with more than 480 restaurants under the umbrella name of ShowBiz Pizza Time Inc. which runs both the ShowBiz Pizza and Chuck E. Cheese Pizza Chains. Also in 1984 Richard M. Frank became the CEO and decided to change the target audience from the 10 to 17 years age group to the 0 to 12 years range they have today, Which meant that all of the games and prizes had to be retooled for this younger age group. Chuck E. Cheese Games Retooled A large number of the kid games offer prize tickets as premiums which can be used in redemption to trade for prizes or treats. Skee ball, air hockey and the basketball toss are traditional favorites among the younger crowd. The adults with kids are very much the target audience as the Chuck E. Cheese animatronic band focuses on his from the 1980's like "Big Country" and "I Tumble For You." and don't forget the Beetles greatest hits. It's all there. Every child and parent gets stamped with matching black light unique numbers for child security measures against would be criminals. If you don't have kids, you don't get in unless you are on the birthday list. The business did get a complete make over with a new bright paint job with lots of new "branding" experience. Chuck E. imagery and lore are everywhere in the attempt to keep children's attention with loud noises converging on one another with such sounds as electronic beeping, talking, singing whirrs and flashing bright lights all with a Chuck E. Cheese mantra. Here is the place to be, the kid universe, where a Kid Can be a Kid! Chuck E. Cheese or CC for those in the know. Note: Chuck E. Cheese or CEC was no longer the place to go to play the latest video game equipment. Most were replaced with kiddy redemption equipment that gave you tickets to by trinkets at the ticket counter. Chuck E. Cheese - Birthday Party Wrapping Paper Then in 1985 a major restructuring is done, closing unprofitable stores and concentrating more on quality of food and customer satisfaction and less on the expensive animatronics. Finally in 1986 profits begin to increase and marketing becomes aggressive. After the long three year slump, in 1987 the company started opening new pizza entertainment centers and was remodeling the old pizza entertainment centers over the past year. Staff employees were now called cast members. "Where a Kid Can be a Kid" is the new slogan in 1990 as the company grows steadily from 5 years of steady growth. By 1992 all restaurants are united under the identity of Chuck E. Cheese's Pizza. A New Focus for Chuck E. Cheese's Pizza Discovery Zone is now major competition with that of Chuck E. Cheese Pizza because it is focusing on the same family crowd with a indoor jungle gym. This competition forces Chuck E. Cheese Pizza to install its own jungle gyms to keep up with the competition. Chuck E. Cheese Sky Tube The focus is now on very young children instead of the teenage crowd. Climbing equipment, sky tubes, giant slides and small rides are installed as well as other redemption equipment for the very young child in mind as the main focus. The specialization is on Birthday parties and family oriented group parties. 1999 ShowBiz Pizza Time changes name to CEC Entertainment and is no longer expanding its franchise in United States but is looking to international markets instead. July of 1999 - Discovery Zone arcade files Chapter 11 and is purchased by CEC. CEC intends to convert ten of the locations to Chuck E. Cheese restaurants and sell off the remaining land and property. 2006 Chuck E. cheese has some competition over seas. It's the new Mario Factory Arcade in Urawamisono, Saitama, Japan. 2006 Studio C is the main stage show which brings in lots of business which suggests that the influence of animated characters is still important in growth and the continued success of Chuck E. Cheese Pizza Centers. There are several different styles of animatronic shows in use within the company, depending on when the store opened, whether it was renovated, whether it was an original ShowBiz Pizza property. January 1, 2006, The company is very strong, CEC Entertainment, Inc. operates a system of 522 Chuck E. Cheese's restaurants in 48 states, of which 477 are operated by the Company. Chuck E. Cheese's donates 15% of all proceeds back to your school from sales generated by weeknight Chuck E. Cheese fundraiser events. Company History: Link uWink Bistro 2006: uWink is a new franchise being started by Nolan K. Bushnell in which customers will order food electronically, via a two sided video screen replacing the need for waiters. These touchscreens will also give you a selection of music videos, movie trailers, and other short-form entertainment. But mainly they'll display videogames, Nolan K. Bushnell's lifelong passion. These touch screen games are not to very original, but are basically retooled games that we played in the 1980's with a crisper look to them. uWink Company Web Site Link The focus will be on getting 21-34 year old females into his Bistro for a night of interactive entertainment at the eatery. Nolan K. Bushnell states that video games need to go back to their role as a social facilitator, the way party games help people to interact. The game should be secondary to the social interaction between the players." He further states that the video games medium's failure to fulfill its educational potential a "disaster." This new multimedia uWink is a 5400 square foot Restaurant located at the Westfield Promenade in Woodland Hills, CA., run by the famous culinary veteran Greg Schroeppel as Executive Chef. With extensive kitchen experience at such well known restaurants as SPAGO. Link This uWink Bistro Restaurant is just off Topanga Canyon Blvd. and Highway 101. uWink will be above Maggiano's Little Italy restaurant and the Corner Bakery on the north side of the Westfield Promenade Mall. News Release Link The uWink System people can use the touch-screen uWink game themselves, or play against other players around the country for cash and other prizes such as a new car. Everyone will be connected via the Internet in order to compete with each other all across the country, with a mere $1 to compete in the "ultimate treasure hunt" online. Nolan K. Bushnell predicts he will have 150,000 uWink systems running in the next two years. Link Video Games generated $9.6 billion last year. "Avoid missing ball for high score." Pong. From Nolan K. Nolan K. Bushnell, father of the video game industry. The uWink Interactive Bistro Nolan K. Bushnell felt that life should be an interactive learning experience with a medium that is constantly challenging your brain while in a social interaction with your friends and peers. It's not about sitting home alone in a room by yourself and a console. It is about going out and meeting friends for a stimulating time in which your brain will be pushed in order to learn more and compete with your friends on puzzle solving and other fun reactive intellectually stimulating games with a medium that puts power and fun at your finger tips, hence, the Bistro, uWink. This type of system will hopefully be fun for both the gamer and non-gamer alike as well as breaking the male oriented gamer genre, so that women will be equally interested in these new uWink multimedia games such as it was in the beginning with pong, the ball and paddle video game put out by Nolan K. Bushnell's Atari in 1972. uWink Management Team John Kaufman, Consulting Director Alissa Bushnell, Vice President of Marketing & Daughter of Nolan K. Bushnell Nolan Bushnell, Chief Executive Officer Ralph Gentile Architects Paul Dumais, Chief Technology Officer Peter Wilkniss, Chief Financial Officer

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