ShowBiz Pizza Place

From Cheese-E-Pedia

ShowBiz Pizza's logo used from March of 1980 to 1986. A modified version of the Pizza Show Biz Logo

ShowBiz Pizza Place (Later known as Showbiz Pizza & originally known as Pizza Show Biz) (Known In Mexico as ShowBiz Pizza Fiesta) was a chain of Family Entertainment Centers founded by Robert L. Brock of Topeka Inn Management & Aaron Fechter of Creative Engineering in 1980. The FEC opened it's first location on March 3rd 1980 in Kansas City, MO (2726 NE Vivion Rd)

The FEC would survive through the 1980's after buying out Pizza Time Theatre from 1984 to 1985. The Brand of ShowBiz Pizza would go defunct in 1993 during Concept Unification at Pasadena, CA (3737 E Foothill Blvd). The company is currently around today as CEC Entertainment, LLC.


Pre-History (1979-1980)

In late 1979, after the opening of Stockton, CA (4555 N Pershing Ave), Pizza Time Theatre would sign a deal with Topeka Inn Management to open around 285 PTTs by 1984[1]. The deal would become signed & agreed upon by December 1979, Forming Pizza Show Biz. Somewhere from December 1979 to February 1980, Robert L. Brock (The founder & CEO of TIM) would go to tour the workshop of Creative Engineering. Bob Brock would immediately decide to cut ties with PTT Inc. & hire Creative Engineering to develop animatronics for a new PTT styled Family Pizza Arcade chain. The first Pizza Show Biz owned PTT in Kansas City, MO (2726 NE Vivion Rd) would be turned into a ShowBiz Pizza Place. ShowBiz corporate would also assign Creative Engineering with 40% of the companies assets & earnings.

Pre-Merger (1980-1985)

Creative Engineering was working on a new show for ShowBiz Pizza Place but ShowBiz Corporate had very little time to open the location, so Creative would instead install a Wolf Pack 5 into the store. The store became a success & ShowBiz planned to open more locations, the first being in Jacksonville, FL (9820 Atlantic Blvd) with the first ever Rock-afire Explosion. Pizza Time Theatre would later sue ShowBiz & Bob Brock for theft of trade secrets & breaking of contracts. While ShowBiz corporate would continue to fight the lawsuit against PTT, Both chains would continue to open locations with ShowBiz replacing their older Beta Animatronics with newer models & start to install new decor stores, ShowBiz would also decide to set their Head Quarters in Irving Texas. Creative Engineering would also start to develop Gen 2 versions of bots such as Mitzi or Dook. One test would be Uncle Klunk, who was a character who would be setup in a store in replacement of Rolfe & would later be removed and set to a new location. Though both chains would survive through the early 80's, The FECs were about to face their biggest challenge, as In 1983, after the over abundance of Video game arcades & low effort consoles, The video game crash would start to happen which heavily effect ShowBiz Pizza Places and would cause them to have to close several locations to get by. ShowBiz & PTT also settled the lawsuit out of court, agreeing to pay PTT a percent of income. In 1984, Pizza Time Theatre would file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy & after a 2 year long process, was bought by ShowBiz Pizza Place.

Post-Merger (1985-1993)

ShowBiz Pizza's logo used from 1986 until the end of Concept Unification.

In Late 1985, Pizza Time Theatre became a part of ShowBiz Pizza Place, Forming Showbiz Pizza Time Inc. . The ShowBiz Pizza tagline also went from "Share The Fun" to "Where A Kid Can Be A Kid". ShowBiz Pizza Place would rename to ShowBiz Pizza in 1986, this was to give the CEC & SPP brands more consistency. Several ShowBiz stores would also open with Chuck E.'s House stages. In 1986, Showbiz's Logo would change into a similar one to the Chuck E. Cheese's Pizza logo used at the time. ShowBiz would also start to kick Creative Engineering out of creative control of ShowBiz. ShowBiz started producing its own Showtapes & programmings. Creative would take Showbiz corporate's exclusivity to The Rock A-Fire Explosion, which would make ShowBiz to start producing ShowBiz Pizza Campground stage retrofits as replacements for classic "Smitty's" stages. ShowBiz also started to created new creative decisions for ShwowBiz stores, One of which was The "Yogi Bear Test Stage". The Yogi Bear stage was ShowBiz's first attempt at replacing characters in The Rock A-Fire for other ones (This stage swapping out Billy Bob & Looney Bird for the Hanna Barbera Characters, Yogi Bear & Boo Boo). In 1987/1988, ShowBiz would let Creative produce Showtapes again but still continued to program shows. The only non-CEI related thing to happen from 1985 to 1989 was the creation of ShowBiz Pizza Fiesta in Mexico.

In 1989, Showbiz corporate would go to Creative Engineering & attempted to talk CEI into giving them the license to The RAE. Of Course, CEI would refuse to give them the license & Showbiz would go back to the drawing board to replace all existing SPP/SP RAE shows into new retrofits. Several ideas were though up, but the final choice was to replace all CEI SPP/SP shows into Pizza Time Players/Chuck E. Cheese's Pizza styled shows in a process called Concept Unification. Later, The Pizza Time Players would become Munch's Make Believe Band starting at the first CU store on Dallas, TX (13125 Montfort Dr). From 1989 to 1993, ShowBiz stores would be renamed & retrofitted into Chuck E. Cheese's Pizzas. The last store to gain Concept Unification would be at Pasadena, CA (3765 E Foothill Blvd). Even though the ShowBiz Pizza brand would go extinct, The Company would still remain & is still around to this day as CEC Entertainment LLC.

Aftermath & Legacy (1993-Present)

ShowBiz Pizza's legacy & History would inspire the creation of ShowBiz in 1999, which would be the start of the animatronic fandom on the internet. Creative Engineering still continued to produce Classic & "New" RAE shows for FECs from 1993 to the mid 2000's, currently CEI only produces showtapes & videos relating to the RAE & CEI hasn't interacted with SPP since 1989. Finally, SPT Inc. would continue to produce new Cyberamic shows until 1997, when they would start to produce Studio C stages. SPT would rename to CEC Entertainment Inc. in 1998 & would later become CEC Entertainment LLC in 2020. CEC Ent would only publicly mention ShowBiz Pizza Place in anniversary Shows like the 25th Anniversary show or the 40 Years of Fun show. SPP Stages have dwindled thanks to Studio C stages, COL, & 2.0, with only 4 remaining in classic form & 1 CU 1-Stage Publicly in stores.

Stages Used in Stores

Name Installed from Last Removed at Notes
Cyberamics Portrait / Shelf Stage Never Installed, Kansas City, MO (2726 NE Vivion Rd) Never Installed Never Installed, would have been installed if location was still a PTT.
Wolf Pack 5 March 3rd 1980 at Kansas City, MO (2726 NE Vivion Rd) Kansas City, MO (2726 NE Vivion Rd) Only 1 Installed. Last Wolf Pack 5 installed at a public location.
Classic Stage 1980-1993 Pasadena, CA (3765 E Foothill Blvd) (Replaced with a 3-Stage) Last Stage type made by CEI. Showbiz Pizza Campground, Klunk Stage, Yogi Bear Stage, Santa Stage, & Liberty Stage created for some Showtapes.
Tropical Stage 1988 Retrofit of The Classic Stage.
Country Stage 1983 Retrofit of the Classic Stage.
Pastel Stage 1980's ShowBiz Pizza Fiesta Stage.
Magic Stage Prototype 1985/1986 Stage was meant as a replacement for RAE shows.
Chuck E.'s House (Rocker Stage) 1987-1990 Rockford, IL (3600 E State St) Only CEC stage used at non-CU ShowBiz stores. Last Store at Rockford was a former ShowBiz Pizza Place.
Concept Unification Stage 1989-1994 Still in Use Last SPP stage in use. Only 4 Left. Last SPP Stage. 2nd CEC Stage used in SPP stores.Only existing SPP exclusive Stage. Only Stage that was used at non former ShowBiz's.
Other Stages were produced for former ShowBiz Stores.

FEC's Owned/Created By ShowBiz

Name Founded Defunct Notes
ShowBiz Pizza Fiesta 1984/1985 1990's Mexican Branch of SPP stores. Only FEC created by ShowBiz before full merger.
Chuck E. Cheese's / Pizza Time Theatre 1977 (PTT), 1984-1985 (CEC) 1984-1985 (PTT), Still Around (CEC) Bought in waves by SPP. Replaced the SPP brand from 1989 to 1993. One of the Last Animatronic FEC's left.