San Jose, CA (1371 Kooser Rd)

From Cheese-E-Pedia


Kooser Rd.'s exterior in 2018.


1371 Kooser Rd., Store #404 was a franchised Pizza Time Theatre that opened on December 2, 1978, with a Portrait Show, and closed on June 25, 2020.

This location is the second-ever Pizza Time Theatre location and was the oldest location in the company until 2020. Now, Huntington Beach has the oldest Chuck E. Cheese's in the company.

Stages

The size of This location gave an opportunity to have a dedicated room for its Portrait Show, which was programmed via a recording booth nearby with a window looking towards the characters.

The nearby Dolli Dimples cabaret show originally had a Jukebox-like show selector. This would utilize tokens and would give guests the opportunity to select Dolli's next act.

In May of 1980, it was announced that the Kooser Rd. Pizza Time Theatre received new staging that moved all of the characters onto one wall and new Cyberamics. This new stage would be called "The Showboat", appearing to have been designed after a vintage steamboat.[1][2]

The show would eventually be converted into a C-Stage during Concept Unification, and would finally be converted into a 2-Stage.

The 2-Stage, much like its sister location on Fontaine Rd, rapidly declined in condition, although many customizations were made to the show. Such as Chuck E. sporting a walkaround shirt for a period of time, or the rope lights that were added to the cityscape, and the fiber-optic sign being placed where the CRT TV was just like Stafford, TX.

Until 2020 the show remained virtually untouched aside from cosmetic changes. The show would meet its fate by being destroyed by a fan who worked at the location. The same fan would then sell the remains of the show to various collectors and post photos of the destroyed interior online.

History

Food Service Marketing, October 1979

Before its debut as a Pizza Time Theatre, 1371 Kooser Rd originally housed a grocery store in the 1960s.[3] Pizza Time Theatre would keep the original flooring and lighting used in this grocery store for its first few months open before removing and replacing both with standardized tiling and lighting.[4]

Some time between opening and October of 1979, the location would have its tiled white showroom floors replaced with brown tiling similar to other Pizza Time Theatres of the time.[5]

In 1980 a fundraiser for Laurelwood Elementary School in Santa Clara, CA. Which, the Kooser Rd. Pizza Time Theatre raffle off coupons. Shortly after, the store's Mike Berkeland and Tony Welch attended the March of Dimes Walk-A-Thon. Mike would be in the Chuck E. Cheese mascot suit while Tony would escort him. To provide the two rest stops, Mike's brother Rob would drive his van nearby.[2]

In 1981 the Kooser Pizza Time Theatre would remodel for the first time. This remodel included a complete overhaul to Fantasy Forest, color-coded rooms signage, and exterior remodel.[6]

October 22, 1984, the location was purchased by Pizza Time Theatre, later being re-franchised due to the bankruptcy that followed shortly after.

In 1983 the location received Cheese E. Street, an indoor funhouse that bought guests through tubes, slides, ladders, and tunnels. This store in particular would premiere Cheese E. Street on April 22, 1983, at 1:00 PM as an event.[7]

Chuck E. Cheese's

Showroom, Spring 1997[8]

The store would remodel once again in 1991 during the 1986 remodel program, which completely redid the store's floorplan, most notably lowering the ceiling.[9]

On March 1, 1993, the location would be purchased by Showbiz Pizza Time and then remodeled in 1996 during the 1994 remodel program, in the process, also receiving Phase I.[10]

In 2006 the store would be a part of the ever-growing "Cool Chuck" remodel initiative, which remodeled the store once again. [11][12]

For 2016 it was remodeled for the final time during the short-lived 2015 remodel program, which was most likely done to drive business back to the location as it lost popularity. [13]

During this time it was rumored that the rectangular holes for the portrait frames the characters were placed in were still above the drop ceiling.

Closure

In the location's day, it was consistently being overshadowed by the nearby Fontaine Rd. location, which was larger and attracted more guests. This alongside the COVID-19 pandemic put stress on the store, which lead to its permanent closure on June 25, 2020.

The entire store was left a mess and had all CEC branding disposed of or vandalized.

On February 26, 2021, the Bay Area NBC News covered how the land would be purchased and utilized for an affordable housing project.

For the second time in a week, a developer has proposed building a 100% affordable housing project at the site of a closed chain restaurant in South San Jose, according to the Mercury News.

Affirmed Housing has submitted its proposal to city planners for a project to be built on a 1.6-acre parcel at 1371 Kooser Road, near Blossom Hill Road, where a Chuck E. Cheese restaurant closed last year amid financial woes caused by the pandemic, the newspaper reported.

The site is just down the road from another proposed affordable housing project targeting a lot on Blossom Hill Road where a Fish Market restaurant now stands and saw a similar fate.

The Kooser Road project would consist of nearly 200 units and include amenities such as restaurants and retail, according to the report.

Affirmed Housing already has obtained a contract to buy the property, the newspaper said.[14]

As of now the location is still vacant, as no progress has been made on this project.

Arcade Machines

The Kooser Road Pizza Time Theatre was the first and potentially last Chuck E. Cheese's Pizza Time Theatre to ever receive an Atari Theatre.

1371 Kooser Road was the first location to contain Skee-Ball, which is now a staple in Chuck E. Cheese restaurants to this day.

Identified 1978 - 1979 Machines

Videos

Link Description Filming / Published Date
https://youtu.be/vOJo-m3d4ls Dolli, Mopsey Sisters, & Exterior Unknown (Around 78'-80')
https://youtu.be/EdKLsomLbtY Store featured on "Real People" 1979
https://www.showbizpizza.com/videos/index.html Dolli Dimples featured towards the end of Winchester feature Fall 1979
https://youtu.be/lSaFEiNrz1Q Family at location Spring 1997
https://youtu.be/JjBPFbmHm2g Birthday party May 23, 1998
https://youtu.be/vaPbbWOEWVo Store Tour December 31, 2016

Gallery

Animatronics

Animatronic Manufacturing Date Whereabouts
Kooser Chuck E. Cheese (Animatronic) 1978 Unknown
Kooser Pasqually (Animatronic) 1978 Unknown
Kooser Jasper T. Jowls (Animatronic) 1978 Unknown
Kooser Mr. Munch (Animatronic) 1978 Unknown
Kooser Helen Henny (Animatronic) 1978 Unknown
Kooser Dolli Dimples (Animatronic) 1978 Destroyed
Kooser Pizza Time Orchestra (Animatronic) 1978 Unknown
Kooser Mopsey Sisters (Animatronic) 1978 Unknown
Kooser Waving Flags (Animatronic) 1978 Unknown
Kooser Applause Board (Animatronic) 1978 Unknown
Chuck E Cheese (Cyberamic) 1980 Destroyed
Guest Star / Helen Henny (Cyberamic) 1980 Destroyed, Parts sold on eBay
Mr. Munch (Cyberamic) 1980 Sold on eBay
Jasper T. Jowls (Cyberamic) 1980 Destroyed
Pasqually (Cyberamic) 1980 Destroyed
Warblettes (Cyberamic) 1980 Unknown
Waving Flags (Cyberamic) 1980 Unknown
Applause Board (Cyberamic) 1980 Unknown
Drum Board (Cyberamic) 1980 Unknown
Singing Flowers (Cyberamic) N/A Unknown
Wink (Cyberamic) N/A Destroyed

Walkarounds

The first walkaround this location had was the Prototype Walkaround. It was used from opening until around mid-late 1981, when it was replaced with a standard 1981 costume. It was in turn replaced by the Tuxedo outfit in 1990/1991. It was later replaced by an updated one, in turn by the Cool Chuck one, including accessories, like the Chuck 01 outfit. It received the Rockstar outfit by 2013/2014, and would remain at the store until the 2020 closure.

Head Outfits & Suits Accessories Whereabouts
Prototype Chuck Walkaround Unknown
Chuck 01 Attire (Costume Outfit) Unknown

References