Mammoth US children’s party chain Chuck E. Cheese (that’s Charles Entertainment Cheese, to you!) is making its way to Australian shores, announcing earlier this month a partnership with Royale Hospitality Group – the West Australian group behind flashy hospitality ventures Milky Lane, Planet Royale and Outback Jacks.
Originally launched in 1977 by Atari co-founder Nolan Bushnell (when it was known as Chuck E. Cheese Pizza Time Theatre), Chuck E. Cheese boasts nearly 600 locations worldwide, and host half a million children’s birthday parties each year.
As well as their herculean birthday party efforts, arcade games and kid-friendly menu that features pizza and wings, for decades the entertainment centres were known for their (very chill, totally not scary) animatronic band.
Characters in the band included lead vocalist Helen Henny, a chicken who is into gaming; Mr Munch, a gluttonous purple monster and keyboardist; Jasper T. Jowls, a bloodhound dog from Tennesee who plays the guitar; Pasqually, a human man from Italy who plays the drums and tells jokes; and Bella Bunny – introduced in 2018, Bella is a Hispanic rabbit who enjoys gardening and plays the tambourine.
(Sadly, the animatronic band has since been retired in favour of live mascot performances, with just one global location in Northridge, California still home to the animatronic gang.)
Between 1980 and 1984, Perth was home to a similar venue (complete with terrifying animatronics), Pizza Showtime, located in what is now Grand Theatre Lane.
Royale Hospitality Group is reportedly scouting locations, with no confirmation on where in Australia the first Chuck E. Cheese outpost will be, although Australian franchises will reportedly include trampolines, video walls and dance floors.
“We are thrilled to bring the magic of Chuck E. Cheese to Australia and to collaborate with the Royale Hospitality Group, a partner that shares our commitment to delivering exceptional family experiences,” said Chuck E. Cheese International COO Mario Centola.
“This is a momentous step towards establishing Chuck E Cheese as the premier destination for families seeking an unparalleled kid-centric entertainment and dining experience,” added Ray Strauss, Managing Director of Royale Hospitality Group.