Studio C Cappa Prototype

From Cheese-E-Pedia
Small-Town Studio C Prototype (location unknown)

The Small-Town Studio C Prototype was a test stage concept installed in 3 Chuck E. Cheese's locations that opened between July and December 2002. It featured a Blue Screen (from the Studio C stages of time), and a buffet, as part of a "Small-Town CEC" test concept. The design would somewhat be carried over into the Small-Town Studio C (better known as the Studio C Cappa), which made its debut in July 2003.


Development and Test Restaurants

In 2002, CEC Entertainment, Inc. thought up an idea to create Chuck E. Cheese's restaurants in smaller cities in the United States, to be known as "Small-Town CEC" stores. Three test restaurants were opened, in Waco, TX (5106 West Waco Dr), which opened on June 24th, 2002, Lake Jackson, TX (100 West Hwy 332), which opened on October 22nd, 2002, and Dover, DE (1275 N DuPont Hwy), which opened on December 27th, 2002. The operations of these test Small-Town CEC restaurants differed from the normal Chuck E. Cheese's restaurants, with a smaller store size, a buffet, an increased presence of the Chuck E. Cheese walkaround character, and a "new stage", which was not actually a stage, but was a Blue Screen (used on Studio C (1997), Studio C Prototype, and Studio C 2000 at the time.), with a camera, so that when a person stepped in front of it, they (as well as any other person in the view of the camera) would appear on the 3 small TVs sitting atop the Blue Screen structure. The Blue Screen also had some lights, which from the only picture currently known of it (The picture included in this article), were located above and on both sides of the actual blue colored screen, on the black and white areas, as well as long strips of rope lights hanging from the ceiling.


After Dover, Delaware opened on December 27th, 2002, no more test Small-Town CEC restaurants were opened. It is unknown why exactly the company stopped the tests, but a possible reason is that families may have not liked the fact that there was no animatronic representation of Chuck E. Cheese, as every location at the time had at least one form of animatronic representation of Chuck E. (3-Stage, Cyberamic, and Studio C 32M and 16M figures). The three Small-Town Studio C Prototype's would be replaced with Small-Town Studio C's (also known as the Studio C Cappa, which was an alteration of the three test Small-Town CEC stores, updated to re-introduce the normal operations of a regular CEC location, and bring back the animatronic. Waco, Texas' Prototype would be the first to be removed, being replaced in July of 2003, in which Waco was either the first or second Small-Town Studio C ever. Waco would receive the 2.0 Remodel in October 2022. Lake Jackson, Texas would replace their Prototype in 2005 or 2006, and still has their Cappa. Dover, Delaware, which was the first CEC in Delaware to open as a CEC, (The other CEC in Delaware, Wilmington, originally opened as a Showbiz in 1983 and closed in 2020, although they would reopen as Chuck E. Cheese in October 2022.) would replace their Prototype in 2005. Lake Jackson and Dover both have V3 Small-Town Studio C's.


While very obscure, the Small-Town Studio C Prototype concept (the no animatronic portion specifically) would later be seen in the Circles of Light, which debuted in August 2012, and the Chuck E. Live Stage (Dance Floor), which debuted in May 2015, although the COL was installed with or without animatronics (the animatronic figures being Studio C 32 movements or 16 movements), the Chuck E. Live Stage was (and still is) the only CEC stage to never have animatronics, despite the different designs manufactured since 2015. The Circles of Light was produced until around 2021, and the Chuck E. Live Stage is still being produced for 2.0 locations as of 2023.


Superficially, it may seem that this show goes by one name and one name only, "Studio C Cappa", a name was coined by either Jenn Waitt or Travis Schafer using a combination of the Greek Alphabet and a play on words with of word "Crap".[1] In reality this show went by two identifiers, Small-Town Studio 'C' and Small Market Studio 'C'.

Internally, CEC refers this stage as "Small Town Studio 'C'". In the Studio C manual, two pages mention a "Small Town" show. These pages have audio/video flow for a show with three 60-inch monitors and one additional monitor for the bluescreen area.[2] This AV diagram is most definitely depicting "Studio C Cappa".

This iteration of this stage-- only including the Bluescreen, lighting, and three monitors-- had specific shows created for it and also utilized the Small Town handle when identifying it.[3]

Building plans, mainly coming from C.T. Chang, BWM, and Parkway Construction, in passing reference, referred to this show as the Bluescreen; the 1999 show concept developed for 6 locations were identified as "Small Town Studio C".[4]


The design of the Small-Town Studio C Prototype was interesting, as there was no Chuck E. animatronic or physical stage platform, with a Blue Screen (which was used on Studio C stages of the time) in its place with 3 small TV's above it. in the middle of the structure was the actual blue colored screen with a frame that was colored black and white like a zebra pattern. For lighting, there were small lights above and on the sides of the blue colored screen, as well as additional rope lights hanging from the ceiling.

Locations Installed In

Location Address Opening Closing Date Removed Replaced With
Waco, Texas, United States 5106 West Waco Dr June 24th, 2002 Still Open 2003 Small-Town Studio C V1 (Dance Floor in 2022)
Lake Jackson, Texas, United States 100 West Hwy 332 October 22nd, 2002 Still Open 2005 / 2006 Small-Town Studio C V3
Dover, Delaware, United States 1275 N DuPont Hwy December 27th, 2002 Still Open 2005 Small-Town Studio C V3