Concept Division (Johnsonverse)

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Concept Division was a process by ShowBiz Pizza Time, Inc., occurring in all Chuck E. Cheese's locations. It was first introduced in 2015, and the goal of the project was to change many CEC locations to ShowBiz Pizza Place locations and revive The Rock-afire Explosion, including changing all 3-Stage Munch's Make-Believe Band animatronics back to Rock-afire Explosion animatronics, along with removing all Studio C and Circles of Light stages, and the introduction of a new stage called Rockstar Stage.

The process was completed on January 29, 2021, when the final Studio C stage at the Serene, Lousiana location was decommissioned and replaced with a 3-Stage Rock-afire Explosion show.

History

When Johnson Industries acquired CEC Entertainment, Inc. on December 10, 2014, many of CEC's animatronic shows were shut down for what was initially called "refurbishment"; a sign was placed in front of the curtains notifying customers of this. On December 28, it was announced that Johnson would revive ShowBiz Pizza Place and The Rock-afire Explosion. Later that day, the Rock-afire Explosion's creator, Aaron Fechter, revealed on his YouTube channel that he and his company, Creative Engineering, would be involved in the chain's revival, and began hiring other employees, including many people who had worked at CEI, to help him with his task; Fechter had retained a handful of employees during CEI's downsizing to help him with the successful Looney Bird's Lab program, though more were hired to assist with Johnson's AnimeTronic technology.

53 Chuck E. Cheese's locations were converted into ShowBiz Pizza Place locations throughout the summer of 2015. On August 20, the first revived ShowBiz location opened in San Jose, California, having been a CEC flagship location for many years. Throughout 2016 and 2017, more CEC locations were converted to ShowBiz, with the stated goal of having at least one of each brand in each major city to provide options. The direction of the revived ShowBiz is aimed towards teens and adults, while CEC is geared towards kids and families; this was reflected in their respective slogans (ShowBiz revived the slogan "Come for the Pizza, Stay for the Fun", while CEC retained "Where a Kid Can Be a Kid"). By December 31, 2017, 401 CEC locations remained.

The last Circles of Light location in Tacoma Park, Maryland was converted into a Rockstar Stage on June 16, 2019, with one being kept in the ShowBiz Pizza Time Museum (along with one of each Studio C setup and a replica 3-Stage) at Irving, Texas, and the last 3-Stage to finish its conversion back into a Rock-afire Explosion was in Peoria, Illinois; it was finished on November 29, 2019. The last Studio C stage (a Studio C Beta in Serene, Louisiana) was removed on January 29, 2021 as part of the location's conversion into a 3-Stage (and by extension, a ShowBiz Pizza Place); however, many Studio C stages were set to be converted before the COVID-19 pandemic caused delays.

A "Phase 6" interior at a remodeled location in Greece, New York on September 6, 2018, just prior to the installation of all animatronics.

Changes

ShowBiz Pizza Place

The new ShowBiz Pizza Place locations feature newly-redesigned interiors and exteriors inspired by the ShowBiz locations of the 1980s. They also feature a wall between the show room and the game room to get the lighting right for the shows. Larger locations feature a dance floor in which costumed characters perform with guests.

The

Chuck E. Cheese's

Remodels for Chuck E. Cheese's locations feature newly-redesigned exteriors and interiors (occasionally being expanded as well), with warmer colors, new decorations, new signage, and a new stage known as the "Rockstar Stage", which serves as a replacement for Studio C and Circles of Light, featuring new animatronics designed by Garner Holt in tandem with Creative Engineering, Inc. and Walt Disney Imagineering; said animatronics feature the modern designs for Chuck E. and the other members of Munch's Make-Believe Band introduced in 2012 and 2014, respectively, along with additional LED lighting effects. The left side features Chuck E., while the right side features a rotation of guest characters. Starting in the June 2016 showtape, Harmony Howlette was introduced to Munch's Make-Believe Band, with a new design inspired by her Pizza Time Theatre incarnation, as well as a new voice actress (Kate Bristol).

Gallery

See also