San Jose, CA (370 S Winchester Blvd)

From Cheese-E-Pedia

Winchester's exterior, taken shortly after opening.



370 South Winchester Blvd. San Jose, CA was the first Chuck E. Cheese's Pizza Time Theatre that opened on May 17th, 1977, as apart of Warner Communications Inc.

The store would close permanently in February 1985.

Stage

Winchester opened with a show consisting of Chuck E. Cheese, Crusty the Cat and Jasper T. Jowls in portrait frames. Also featured was Pasqually the Chef behind kitchen doors and the Warblettes on their own platform. Scattered on shelves throughout the room would be the Pizza Time Orchestra and the Clapper Board as well as various other objects. A more advanced bot, Helen Henny, would be delivered to the store on August 12, 1977. She would be replaced with Madam Oink in February 1978, and Foxy Colleen followed in October 1978. Around June of 1978, upgraded versions of Crusty and Chuck E. Cheese with more movements would be installed. As shown in 1979 footage of the store, the store's bots were not maintained often. Between 1980-1981, Winchester would replace their bots with Cyberamics.

History

A concept drawing of a potential first store.
Development of Winchester as a location dates back to 1976 under the name "The Big Cheese", "Pizza Game Center", etc. The venue was planned to be a 6,000 square foot venue with 2 arcades and a casino lounge. A total of $43,106 ($223,900 adjusting for inflation) worth of games and rides were purposed alongside the Mood Box and a Theatre Program. The rest of the document documents budget estimates for aspects of the store. The 2nd location (Kooser) was also being planned alongside Winchester at the time. The spot chosen would be a 5,000 square foot building that Security Pacific Bank was moving out of. By January 18th, 1977, the plans for Winchester were sent to the County of Santa Clara and were approved with minor changes suggested by the county. On March 3rd, The Planning Commission gave the go-ahead to Warner Communications inc. to begin construction. Kooser was also being proposed around this time, having it's location being voted on by the Planning Commission of San Jose.

Opening

An ad campaign was launched in local newspapers and radio stations weeks before opening to generate hype. Winchester would host a series of press preview parties days before the public opening where select members of the press and VIP members were invited out to see Winchester early. On May 17th, 1977, Winchester opened to the public for the first time and became an instant hit amongst the local community. Most people rarely saw working animatronics outside of Disneyland, creating a novelty that drew visitors in. Often on weekends, the place would be at max capacity with a line outside reaching around the sidewalk.

Post-Opening

As time moved on, Winchester would receive a large amount of guest visiting every weekend, having their facility at max capacity most of the weekends. In September of 1977, a new menu and game-room carpets were added to the store. When Kooser opened in 1978, a large majority of potential and current Pizza Time Theatre customers moved to the bigger and updated store. Although Winchester still had a sizable guest count and loyal patrons, new guests were few and far between. On September 11th, 1981, Winchester would receive the 1981 remodel. The estimated cost of the changes would amount to 4,500 dollars.

Closure

Around February 1985, Winchester would close permanently for unknown reasons, however it can be attributed towards the slow decline of guests over the years. The building would remain vacant. On May 8th, 1985 a new Chinese restaurant named "Ocean Harbor Chinese Seafood" was proposed to go on the site of the former PTT. It would take several years of development with the renovation (including the interior and exterior) beginning construction on April 13, 1987. It would remain open during the 90's, closing at an unknown date. In 2002, the building was demolished alongside the rest of Town and Country Village. The former plot of land is now a shopping center.

Arcade Machines

1977

1979

Pinball (1977)

  • Atarians - Atari, 1976
  • Night Rider - Bally, 1977
  • Freedom - Bally, 1976
  • Solar City - Gottlieb, 1977
  • Grand Prix - Williams, 1976
  • Captain Fantastic - Bally, 1976

Videos

Link Description Filming Date
http://www.showbizpizza.com/videos/index.html A news report from Four Corners. Shows a good amount of the theatre, show, arcade rooms and the kitchen. Late 1979

Gallery

Animatronics

Animatronic Manufacturing Date Whereabouts
Winchester Chuck E. Cheese V1 (Animatronic) Unknown Unknown.
Winchester Chuck E. Cheese V2 (Animatronic) Unknown Owned by Travis Schafer
Winchester Crusty the Cat V1 (Animatronic) Unknown Unknown.
Winchester Crusty the Cat V2 (Animatronic) Unknown Owned by Travis Schafer
Winchester Pasqually (Animatronic) Unknown Destroyed
Winchester Jasper T. Jowls (Animatronic) Unknown Destroyed
Winchester Helen Henny (Animatronic) Unknown Unknown.
Winchester Madam Oink (Animatronic) Unknown Unknown
Winchester Foxy Colleen (Animatronic) Unknown Unknown
Winchester Warblettes (Animatronic) Unknown Unknown.
Winchester Pizza Time Orchestra (Animatronic) Unknown Unknown.
Winchester Flag Wavers (Animatronic) Unknown Unknown.
Winchester Applause Board (Animatronic) Unknown Unknown.
Chuck E. Cheese (Cyberamic) Unknown Sold off in the store's auction. Current wareabouts unknown.
Jasper T. Jowls (Cyberamic) Unknown Sold off in the store's auction. Current wareabouts unknown..
Mr. Munch (Cyberamic) Unknown Sold off in the store's auction. Current wareabouts unknown.
Pasqually (Cyberamic) Unknown Sold off in the store's auction. Current wareabouts unknown.
Guest Star / Helen Henny (Cyberamic) Unknown Sold off in the store's auction. Current wareabouts unknown..
Warblettes (Cyberamic) Unknown Sold off in the store's auction. Current wareabouts unknown.

References