CEC Computer Learning Center Logo
Chuck E. Cheese's Computer Learning Center was a program available at the Sunnyvale, CA (1247 W El Camino Real) and San Jose, CA (2445 Fontaine Rd) Pizza Time Theatre locations for teaching kids computer literacy, starting around March of 1983, and ending an unknown time later.
The program would start as a flat $10 fee, which would allow access into the computer rooms through a magnetic membership card. Members would receive this card, a single 5 1⁄4-inch floppy disk, and an introductory class for operating the Apple II e computer's used at the locations. Presumably members were allowed access into the computer rooms at any time, without the need to attend any courses, and could freely make programs at the location. Only around 6 computers were available in each computer room however.
By its opening, two courses were available for an additional fee of an unknown amount. The first course was designed for kids aged 7 to 9, which would teach about computers and the LOGO language in a fun, informative way. It is implied however that this course would not teach kids how to program full software, and instead get them started into computing fundamentals through LOGO. Classes would meet twice a week over the course of six weeks, totaling 12 unique lessons.
The second course was designed for kids aged 10 and above. This course would teach programming in LOGO for the Apple II, and would have students able to create their own software by the end of the course. This course also had the same schedule as the first, totaling 12 unique lessons as well.
Atari Computer Camps
The Computer Learning Center program seemingly was a downscaled variation of the Atari Computer Camps program, held at the time in over 6 states, including one in the San Francisco area near the Pizza Time Theatre's hosting the CLC. Unlike the CLC program, the Computer Camps were an eight week endeavor that had in-depth courses, activities such as swimming, tennis, softball, electronics workshops, movies, bowling, etc.. Once a week banquets would be held, featuring programmers of hit games and software as speakers.
Unlike the CLC program however, kids at the ACC only learned BASIC and PILOT on Atari computers. This would change at an unknown point however, and ACC would offer LOGO on Apple II e computers just like CLC. This addition would also bring one new learning tool to the program, the Androbot, Inc. Topo Robot.
Androbot, Inc. was a home robotics company owned by Nolan Bushnell, whom also owned Pizza Time Theatre at the time. Their Topo line of robots would launch in May of 1983 as a means of capturing the programmer market through a controllable robot. Androbot, Inc. would collaborate with Atari to introduce Topo to their ACC program, building a new variant of their TopoBasic language to support LOGO (Later made available as a separate purchase).
The San Jose, CA (2445 Fontaine Rd) location would also receive a Topo I unit around this time. Due to the crossover between CLC and ACC programs, it is likely this unit was integrated into the advanced LOGO course from late 1983 to 1984. It is unclear if the Sunnyvale, CA (1247 W El Camino Real) also received a unit.
It is unclear when the CLC program shut down, though it likely could have happened with the removal of the PTT Training Center & Test Kitchen in 1984, due to the company merger with Showbiz Pizza Place. Since it was open at two locations however, its removal date was likely at an unrelated time.