Awesome Adventure Machine

From Cheese-E-Pedia

The Awesome Adventure Machine Main Stage.

The Awesome Adventure Machine, also known internally as "Showroom 2000," was a test stage that was installed at Dallas, TX (13125 Montfort Dr).

This was a one-of-a-kind stage that only had one major character animatronic for the show, which was a first in Chuck E. Cheese's history at that time. To make up for the absence of the other characters, the company came up with the easy solution to introduce video screens featuring the other cast in walkaround form with articulated heads that interact in show segments.

The general concept of the Awesome Adventure Machine was to take guests on many adventures around the world or through time with Chuck E. Cheese as the pilot for the machine and his many robotic sidekicks as part of the show.

Stage Features

The Awesome Adventure Machine consisted of one stage with the Chuck E. Cheese animatronic, and two projection screens on the left and right sides of the show that stood at 10 feet tall. The animatronic was dressed in a unique outfit at the time: a sporty yellow, pink, and blue outfit, with elbow pads and a gray cap to top it all off.

Household Objects

Throughout the entire show, there were about 500 individual pieces scattered around the show area. Behind Chuck E. were moving background objects, given that the main concept of the show was that Chuck E., his friends, and the kids built the machine out of junk. The items included were everyday household items like wheels, scales, trash cans, iron, basketball, water bottles, and plastic among other things.


The Awesome Adventure Machine also featured a lot of bright lighting effects. The screen to the left of Chuck E's stage had a lighted zig-zag pattern and the screen to the right had a lighted gear-shaped pattern. There was also an American DJ "Laser Widow" laser behind the right screen that would create shapes on the screen during intermission.[1] Above the screens and leading into Chuck E.'s stage were several sets of twisted neon lights, which appeared to be electrical currents when programmed to quickly flash back and forth.

There were several lighting effects that appeared from inside Chuck E.'s chamber as well, and above Chuck E. was a LED board that could spell out messages and display designs.

Props / Supporting Characters

Along with Chuck E. Cheese, the Awesome Adventure Machine featured a variety of robotic sidekicks that surrounded him and the entire show. The main 3 animatronic sidekicks were described as the following:

Brain-I-Vac: A combination of computers, calculators, and a vacuum cleaner who acts as Chuck E.'s first officer; calculating coordinates and keeping the command module tidy.

Dusty: Side-kick to Brain-I-Vac, a mechanical dog-like device that sniffs out new data for the Awesome Adventure Machine's main computer. Don't worry, his bark is worse than his byte.

O.R.B.I.S. (Onboard Radar and Bearings Intelligence System): The Awesome Adventure Machine's navigational tracking system keeps Chuck E. on course and out of trouble... also provides time and temperature.

Other sidekicks that weren't animatronics but could be found around the show included: Can Man, Celluloid, Deuce, Drive-In, Duct Head, Flash, Hammerhead, Iron Man, Juice, Kelvin, Lisa, Maoui, Mona, Ohmer, Pinhead, Richter, Sinker, Tank, Tech Totem, Trike Man, Tweeker, and Wastoid.

Behind The Scenes / Technical Information

The Full AAM Stage.

CEC Entertainment, Inc. (formally known as Showbiz Pizza Time, Inc. at the time) recruited some of the Dallas area's best local talent to assist them in the production of the entertainment for the Awesome Adventure Machine. This team included Brave Combo, a Grammy-nominated musical group based in Denton, scriptwriter Steven White of Plano (who had worked with SPT for years up to that point and was also known for writing episodes of Barney and Friends), and the Stokes group, an award-winning video effects and post-production company. The 22-movement AAM Chuck E. Cheese (Animatronic) was created by Animation World.

The show was run off LaserDiscs and used a Dolby-integrated 7-channel surround-sound system. The 10-foot video screens were operated by two rear-projection screen systems; the projectors were located in the back of the show. The Awesome Adventure Machine also had a live camera feed that was originally used to scan the showroom during birthdays; this feature was also used during intermissions for later shows.

The metal pixel art cylinder on the left was a revolving door for technicians to access the back and for live performances. The stage itself could fit directly on top of the outline of the Concept Unification Stage, so the back wall utilized the area of the full original stage. The original raised stage itself was not removed, and the Awesome Adventure Machine was simply built around its perimeter.

Additionally, a sliding door was used in place of traditional curtains; the Command Module's sliding door was originally a beige vinyl screen with the Awesome Adventure Machine Logo. However, it was replaced with gray shutters due to it becoming caught on itself and getting stuck.

The Awesome Adventure Machine outfit was created by Dave Thomas and Shelly Atkins. All the robotic names were named by Chuck E. Cheese's voice actor Duncan Brannan. The two Awesome Adventure Machine's programmers were Frank (a former Walt Disney Imagineering employee) and Brian Hagan.


The production of the Awesome Adventure Machine started as early as 1995. The original idea of the complex Awesome Adventure Machine stage was an attempt to bring Chuck E. Cheese's into the 21st century. Pressure from competitors like Discovery Zone forced CEC to rethink its entertainment options, and a greater focus was placed on the availability of "free" entertainment.

Awesome Adventure Machine featured in a local Dallas newspaper.

Trademarks for the Awesome Adventure Machine were applied for on May 16, 1996, with the premiere showtape being copyrighted in July of 1996. Around that time, within the backrooms of Arlington, TX (2216 S Fielder Rd), a programming site was built for the Awesome Adventure Machine. It consisted of a platform that was a replica of Dallas Montfort's center stage.

On August 11, 1996, installation of the Awesome Adventure Machine began and two weeks later on August 21, 1996, the Awesome Adventure Machine officially debuted to the public. Most reviews were positive, stating that families would have a kick out of the show for its colorful and wacky atmosphere.

While the general public liked the Awesome Adventure Machine show, Showbiz executives did not. Former employees who worked at the Dallas Montfort location during the Awesome Adventure Machine period recall corporate executives coming to see the show and commenting that it was far too expensive to install across all locations. Before the Awesome Adventure Machine was installed, Dick Frank (former CEO of Showbiz Pizza Time, Inc) famously said, "We don't need animatronic shows in our restaurants." The Awesome Adventure Machine experiment was ultimately a failure.

Awesome Adventure Machine (Show) (AAM) ran from August 1996 through April 1997. Awesome Adventure Machine (Show) debuted for existing stages in parallel. The stage never received Chuck E's Magical Holiday Celebration or Chuck E's Jukebox Jam Show. Programming for subsequent Awesome Adventure Machine shows took place at the Dallas Montfort location after hours; the next showtape, Chuck E Cheese's 20th Anniversary (AAM), debuted in April 1997 and ran through August 1997. Around this time, Chuck E.'s outfit was changed from pink to purple. The final Awesome Adventure Machine showtape, August 1997 Show (AAM), premiered in August 1997 and played through November 1997.

On October 23, 1997, the trademarks of all Awesome Adventure Machine content were abandoned, which marked the end of the Awesome Adventure Machine concept as a whole. Between November 1997 and January 1998, the Awesome Adventure Machine show was removed from the Dallas Montfort location and all of the parts and props of the show were thrown away and destroyed -- only the neon display sign was saved and placed on display in the corporate office until being thrown out years later.

After the Awesome Adventure Machine show was removed. The show was replaced with the all-new concept at the time, "Studio C," and the Studio C Alpha show replaced the Awesome Adventure Machine at the original Dallas Montfort location.[2] The last appearance of Awesome Adventure Machine was in Chuck E. Cheese In the Galaxy 5000 in 1999.

Lost Media

The Awesome Adventure Machine is shown on a page of the company's annual report in 1997

With short-lived experiments comes lost media and the Awesome Adventure Machine is no exception. All of the Awesome Adventure Machine LaserDiscs are presumed lost. From the late 1990s to the early 2000s, Department 18 threw away many LaserDisc copies; master LaserDisc copies of shows used on the Awesome Adventure Machine stage are near-impossible to find and it is expected that these copies might not be rediscovered as LaserDiscs are infamous for degradation of quality over time.

Footage of the Awesome Adventure Machine show in action is extreme scarcity. In March 2002, Brian Hagan (former Department 18 Studio Manager and Awesome Adventure Machine programmer) shared three never before seen video clips of the Awesome Adventure Machine and a picture of the full show to the public. These were the only known media of the Awesome Adventure Machine show for about 20 years, besides a newspaper clipping that contained an additional image of the show.

In August 2021, Jon Rice (former Vice President of Marketing) shared new never before seen images of the Awesome Adventure Machine, and in December 2021, Brian Hagan shared the full-length Awesome Adventure Machine footage of Chuck E Cheese's 20th Anniversary (AAM) with LaserDisc audio from the LaserDisc player. Aside from that, those are the only found media of the show that are currently public.

No home video or home photographs have been found or shared yet. The only known lost Awesome Adventure Machine footage is a news coverage segment circa August-September 1996, from North Dallas news team WFAA (Channel 8). The news segment focused on the Awesome Adventure Machine and included footage of the Awesome Adventure Machine's Premiere show. The segment story has not yet been found.

In March 2023, audio surfaced of the Awesome Adventure Machine premiere invitation that was presumably only sent out to mangers & employees in the Dallas & Forth Worth Texas areas. no pictures or footage has surfaced of the invitational premiere.