Durham, NC (3724 Mayfair St)

From Cheese-E-Pedia


The current exterior as of June 24, 2023.



3724 Mayfair St, Store #380 is a Chuck E. Cheese location in Durham, North Carolina.

The store opened on March 7, 1994, with a 1-Stage. It is the last Mini Unit variant of the 1-stage, and also the last location to have a full exterior with original 90s checkers. It is also the last CEC location in the Triangle to have animatronics, after the Capital Blvd location in Raleigh removed their 3-Stage for the 2.0 remodel on August 31, 2022.

History

Durham opened on March 7, 1994, as one of two North Carolina locations with a Cyberamic Munch's Make-Believe Band Stage (the other was Charlotte, NC (5612 Albemarle Rd) which opened in November 1991 with a Road Stage). They opened with the now unique prototype version of the 1-Stage called the Mini Unit, which is smaller than the average 1-Stage, and has a unique ceiling valance, only installed in just four other locations between 1992 and 1994 as a test stage for smaller stores. Durham is the last Cyberamic show in the Carolinas, and the entire Southeast region as a whole.

Opening

Durham's Opening Advertisement

Due to advertisements using the March 2nd date less than 10 days until the store was slated to opened, it is believed Durham may have had a "soft opening" on the 2nd and grand opening on the 7th, or that the date was delayed at the last minute. March 7th would make more sense as the opening date anyways, due to it being a Monday, and that most stores at that time typically opened on a Monday.

The store opened up in the Beacon Ridge Plaza shopping center, with most businesses of the plaza being located in a shopping center across the street. While little is known about the plaza, and no remnants of it by name exist, we know the Chuck E. Cheese was part of it due to numerous advertisements in newspaper articles using the plaza name associated with the store, and public property records.[1] Throughout the years, the plaza would become less active and lose more of the businesses that occupied the space. Starting in the late 2000s/early 2010s, half of the plaza was torn down, with the rest following soon after in 2016. The lots across the street would remain vacant and used as parking occasionally until around 2019, when a new complex, University Hill, with retail and apartments, was built. It is still active and standing to this day.

1990s

Durham would open up with the SPT 1992 Remodel Program, which was the standard for the time. Inside, the store would have the standard 90s decor, such as the CD Award parody posters, sports magazines, and planters. The store either opened up or received shortly after the Phase 1 games package. With the pictures we have, we can tell a good amount of how the store would have looked. It is safe to assume it had a layout nearly identical other later Mini Unit 1-Stage stores, bearing close resemblance to El Paso before expansion.[2] In the later half of 1994, the store would receive the sky crawl, (an early version of the Skytubes) with installation plans for it dated from August 1994.

In the mid/late 90s, Durham would receive updated signage for the exterior featuring the thumbs-up Chuck art with the star cap and would also receive larger awnings which covered the checkers. In the late 90s, the store would receive the Phase 2 games package. At an unknown point after 1998, the main sign above the entrance was switched out with the updated C-cap version for an unknown reason.

2000s

Durham would stay mostly unchanged in the early 2000s, likely receiving the standard Phase 3 games package. This would change in late 2005, most likely September, when the store remodeled to the CEC 2005 Remodel Program, which included drastically changing the store's layout (moving the prize counter, changing the entrance to be on the side), removal of showroom walls and expanding the showroom area, all major 90s decor pieces, and painting certain walls purple. Surprisingly, they would keep the dim lighting and Coach signage on the exterior. The stage would not change much after the remodel, except by 2008, Chuck's tuxedo and derby would be removed for the full Avenger outfit and cap.

2010s

The store would receive many changes during the 2010s as the company transitioned from the Avenger to Rockstar era.

Jasper's original mask shortly before removal

Starting in the early 2010s and spanning the end of the decade, the stage itself would receive many changes, removing many of its original aspects. Character cosmetics would be some of the first parts to be changed. The first of the 1993 masks to be removed was Chuck's, after it became bleached for an unknown reason in 2011. Coming shortly after or around the same time, Pasqually's mask was also replaced. For a brief period in 2012, Pasqually wore a blue shirt instead of his typical red plaid pattern, but this change would seemingly be short-lived. Between February to May 2017, more of the original elements would get replaced. First, Jasper's shirt would be replaced with the new larger "cow print" version. Helen's original mask would be replaced not long after, although the exact reason for removal is unknown, as the most recent pictures showing the mask appeared to be in decent condition. The next mask to be replaced was Jasper's, which in a photo shows the foam around the eyes was beginning to rot.

Around 2010-2011, the television above Munch was removed, leaving the two side TVs. In 2012, the curtains were removed. In September 2013, Durham received the 2013 Update and hat removal signage and removed the awnings to reveal the checkers underneath them. You can still see slight fade from where the old "Chuck E. Cheese's" text was when it was centered on the sides of the building before 2013. Also, around the same time, the Munch's Make-Believe Band sign was modified to be purple where it was previously pink and was placed directly above Munch. Around this time also, they replaced their CRTs with flat screens and removed the televisions outside the showroom area. The skytubes would be removed by the late 2010s.

2020s/Present Day

In more recent years, the show has been decreasing in condition, with every character having some movement or cosmetic issues. In recent years, the show's condition has fluctuated, with various things getting broken and fixed, such as Munch's flows being messed up over time. In April 2023, Chuck's eye weld broke, leading the eyes to not move, and one eye becoming off center from the other. This has since been fixed. Beginning in late April, the store would start installing brighter LED lights throughout the store, starting in the showroom, causing the store to no longer have dim lighting.

Eyelids

One of the things which has made Durham infamous within the community is the fact that Helen doesn't have eyelids. The exact reason why this happened is unknown, although speculations included the eyelids were removed due to scratching the irises, or that the eyelids fell backwards/the part which holds them in place broke, causing them to be removed entirely.

Sometime in March 2021, Chuck E.'s right eyelid would break. By July 2021, both of Helen's eyelids would be gone, and at some point, after that, Chuck's other eyelid would break too, causing Chuck E. and Helen to both appear to have no eyelids by late 2021 or early 2022, although Chuck E. still has his eyelids, inoperative and stuck up.

Current State

Just like nearly all other stores by then, Durham received the new Navori system in June 2023. Unfortunately, due to technical issues during the transition from the DVD Player to Navori (confirmed on a video by an employee of Raleigh visiting the store[3]), the animatronics would be stuck in random mode or even aired down. On only a few known occasions, the show has operated correctly, but the majority of the time since June 2023, the show had been in random movements or aired down.

On June 8, 2024[4], the show would be seen operating correctly again, with the Navori issue seemingly fixed.

In late May 2024, the game room would be rearranged in preparation for trampolines. The store installed their trampolines in early June 2024.

As of June 2024, Durham still has the 1-Stage, 2005 Update (with the 90s bathrooms), 90s remodel checkers on the exterior, and 2013 Rockstar signage.

Stages and Animatronics

Stage Installed Removed Notes
1-Stage March 1994 Still in use Last of five Mini Unit 1-Stages ever installed. Last Cyberamic stage in the Southeast region.

Durham opened up with a Mini Unit 1-Stage, and was the last of its kind, sporting the finalized stage appearance, albeit condensed, with the characters being mere inches away from each other.

Animatronic Serial No. Whereabouts Notes
Chuck E. Cheese (Cyberamic) 2030 In-store Eyelids are stuck at the top
Helen Henny (Cyberamic) N/A In-store Missing eyelids
Mr. Munch (Cyberamic) N/A In-store Low mouth flows
Jasper T. Jowls (Cyberamic) N/A In-store Eyelids stay up during shows.
Pasqually (Cyberamic) N/A In-store Arms barely work
Wink (Cyberamic) N/A In-store Operational

Arcade Machines

These are most of the games currently at use within the store.

Store Fixtures

Current Fixtures

Decor

Interior Signage

Exterior Signage

Former Store Fixtures

Decor

Interior Signage

Exterior Signage

Walkarounds

The only known walkarounds they currently have is the standard Rockstar Chuck costume. It is unknown if they still have an Avenger costume in the back still, as no public footage or pictures exist of the area where it is kept.

Head Outfits & Suits Accessories Whereabouts Notes
Chuck 1993 (Costume Head) Chuck Tux 1 93 (Costume Outfit), Chuck Long Fur (Costume Suit) Chuck Long Fur Loose Legs (Costume Accessory), Chuck Long Fur Arms (Costume Accessory), Unknown/Destroyed First walkaround the store recieved.
Chuck 1999 (Costume Head) Chuck Tux 98 (Costume Outfit) Cool Chuck Hat 1 (Costume Accessory) Unknown/Destroyed Head may be a conversion of the former head to 1999 standards.
Chuck 2005 (Costume Head) Chuck Avenger Attire (Costume Outfit) Chuck 05 Avenger Shoes (Costume Accessory), Avenger Hat (Costume Accessory) Unknown/Destroyed
Chuck 2010 (Costume Head) Chuck Avenger Attire (Costume Outfit) Chuck Short Fur (Costume Suit) Unknown/Destroyed Used up through 2013.
Chuck 2014 (Costume Head) Chuck Rockstar Attire 1 (Costume Outfit) Chuck Rockstar Shoes (Costume Accessory), Chuck Short Fur Vinyl Gloves (Costume Accessory) In-store

Gallery

Videos

(W.I.P)

Link Description Filming Date
Link Shows the stage in 2009 playing the 2009 birthday showtape. Currently the oldest identified footage of this location. October 5, 2009
Link Stage footage of "Deck The Halls" December 23, 2013
Link Store video footage including show footage playing the birthday show May 17, 2014
Link Photo gallery of store including games and the show during a birthday party May 17, 2014
Link Stage footage including the birthday show October 4, 2015
Link Various footage of the store and the stage itself May 14, 2017
Link "Birthday Star Spectacular" being performed on Durham's 1-Stage March 3, 2021
Link Tour of the store and 1-stage in August 2021 August 1, 2021
Link "Let's Be Friends" being played on the show in August 2021. August 1, 2021
Link "Finding Mr. Munch’s air leak🍕" The tech of the store fixing an air leak in the Munch animatronic. August 18, 2022
Link "Chuck E. Cheese’s Durham, NC Store Tour 2022" Store tour taken in November 2022. November 26, 2022
Link Stage performing "The Holiday Party" in December 2022 December 18, 2022
Link Footage of the 1-stage while it was aired down. March 5, 2023
Link "Lend a Helping Hand - CEC Durham, NC" Shows the 1-Stage's condition in April 2023. April 9, 2023
Link Footage of the show performing "Let's Have a Party." Note Chuck E's broken eye. May 7, 2023
Link Up close and personal with the 1-Stage animatronics. July 8, 2023
Link Footage of the 2018 Birthday Star Spectacular show being performed at the location. July 8, 2023
Link Non programmed footage of "Out of This World" being played at the location. July 8, 2023
Link The 2018 Birthday Star Spectacular show being performed at the Durham location. July 30, 2023
Link "Dog Days of Summer" being performed on Durham's 1-Stage. July 30, 2023
Link Footage of "Most Perfect Day" being performed on Durham's 1-Stage. July 30, 2023
Link Footage of "Sparkles" being performed on Durham's 1-Stage. July 30, 2023
Link Footage of "Do, Re, Mi" being performed on Durham's 1-Stage. July 30, 2023
Link Store tour taken in August 2023 August 1, 2023
Link Footage of the show stuck in random mode. August 20, 2023
Link Footage of the 2018 Birthday Star Spectacular show performed at the Durham store shortly before being discontinued. November 25, 2023
Link Up close and personal with the 1-Stage animatronics being powered off. November 25, 2023
Link Non programmed of "Game On!" being played at the Durham location. November 25, 2023
Link On-stage close-up of the Durham Cyberamics. January 27, 2024
Link Overview of the stage fully aired down. January 28, 2024
Link The show operating, although in a broken state due to their Navori issue. February 10, 2024
Link "Dog Days of Summer" being played correctly on the 1-Stage at Durham. All characters except Chuck E. are aired up during this performance. June 8, 2024

References and Sources