A phase is a term that describes store designs at Chuck E. Cheese's.
Phase History Edit
When the first Chuck E. Cheese's opened in 1977 as Pizza Time Theatre, it had a straightforward restaurant design with its only unique feature being its "portrait" animatronic stage, arcade games, and play areas. Two years later, in 1979, "balcony" animatronic stages, which boasted full-body animatronics as opposed to framed characters, and "rocker" stages were initiated in 1987. At this time, Showbiz Pizza Time, Inc., the owner of Chuck E. Cheese's (then known as Chuck E. Cheese's Pizza) and its sister chain, Showbiz Pizza, began a process known as "Concept Unification" that retired all of the Showbiz characters and brought it branding to its sister. The first phase ran from 1989 to 1990 and is commonly referred to as Phase 1.
Phase 1 was a generic design with new cabaret acts for the animatronics.
Less than three years after Phase 1 was introduced, Phase 2 filled its void. This revamp brought the same checkerboard design from Showbiz over to CEC, and movie parody posters with Chuck E. and his friends could also be seen. Game rooms now had neon lighting and new arcade games,while animatronic showrooms featured oil paintings of of the Pizza Time Players (now Munch's Make-Believe Band). This was the last phase to feature ball pits.
In 1994, Phase 3, arguably the most famous and recognizable phase, was instated. The oil paintings in the showroom were replaced by parody music album posters with Chuck E. and his friends (which were in turn replaced by TV parody posters in 1999) and large stars, crayons, and sports equipment adorned the walls as well as magazine parodies. Overhead lights, new tables, and SkyTubes were also added. This phase reused some Phase 2 artwork as well.
2005 saw another phase for Chuck E. Cheese's. Several walls were now painted purple, and oversized red tickets and tokens decorated the walls. In the showroom, parody posters were replaced with posters featuring kids smiling and having fun at the restaurant, usually accompanied by a black frame with words that described the restaurant in full, including "celebration," "play," and "memories." Other posters included Chuck E. Cheese (in his "avenger" design) under names such as "Ambassador of Fun" and posters advertising the pizza and salad bar at the restaurant as well as PBS Kids, which is sponsored by CEC. Just as its predecessor had done, Phase 4 reused some artwork from its previous design.
In 2012, Chuck E. Cheese was redesigned to resemble a rock star. With this design, and as well as those of his friends, come another phase. Walls were now multicolored, while showrooms now featured posters Chuck E. alone. Artwork of the rest of the band were also included. In 2014, CEC began to experiment with a "circles of light" stage.
In 2017, Chuck E. Cheese's started testing a new and more simplistic design under a new name, "Chuck E. Cheese Pizzeria & Games." This design is notable for withdrawing animatronics to make way for a light-up dance floor to accompany walkaround character shows. According to Tom Leverton, the current CEO of CEC Entertainment, today's generation of children tend to ignore the animatronics and pay more attention to walking mascots, which prompted them to stop using bots. Silhouettes of Chuck E. Cheese and his friends are now seen in showrooms and entrances, while open pizza kitchens and 8-bit wall designs are found as well. Dimmer lighting, warmer colors, and the new Play Pass system is integrated in this design.