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Blame Five Nights at Freddy's! Chuck E. Cheese Sets Permanent Residence for Munch's Make Believe Band
Five nights is nothing, the security at this Chuck E. Cheese will have to guard these robots forever.
Five Nights at Freddy’s (in theaters now and streaming on Peacock) takes place inside Freddy Fazbear’s Pizza, a fictional animatronic family restaurant modeled after the generation-defining Chuck E. Cheese. In the breakout horror hit (inspired by the games), a nighttime security guard (Josh Hutcherson) and his little sister (Piper Rubio) must avoid being killed by malevolent animatronic characters in order to survive the night.
In the real world, Chuck E. Cheese – perhaps in an effort to avoid a Freddy Fazbears-like fate – has been in the process of removing their animatronics and replacing them with modernized entertainment. Chuck E. Cheese locations across the country increasingly feature digital entertainment, dance floors, trampoline parks, and costumed characters in lieu of the animatronic classics.
For grown-up kids who fondly remember eating pizza, playing games, and watching Chuck and the gang perform on stage, the notion that they might all be shuffled off to a warehouse or landfill somewhere was almost too painful to consider. Fortunately, the folks at Chuck E. Cheese heard the death rattle of a billion childhoods and took action. Beginning tomorrow, November 10, Chuck E. Cheese and Munch’s Make Believe Band will be in permanent residence at the Northridge, California location.
See Chuck E. Cheese and Munch's Make Believe Band Live Every Night in Northridge, California
As the animatronics in the restaurant chain’s 500+ other locations are retired, Northridge will become the only place you’re guaranteed to find Chuck and his friends in their historical form. The Northridge, California location will feature the updated restaurant experience in addition to daily performances by Munch’s Make Believe Band.
“Chuck E. Cheese is and was an essential part of growing up," said Atari founder and Chuck E. Cheese creator Nolan Bushnell, in a press release. "It has had an enormous impact on how families have fun, providing a place where kids and adults alike could be entertained –– from animatronic shows tailored more for the adults, to games and prizes for the kids. It’s great that the original animatronic band will remain in residency at the Northridge location while the other locations offer experiences and create memories with the new vision.”
The permanent residency of Munch’s Make Believe Band was announced in a live press conference hosted by none other than Charles Entertainment Cheese, himself. Chuck introduced the band live from Northridge, California before Munch cut in with the news singing, “California, here we come. Right back where we started from,” a reference to the first Chuck E. Cheese location opened in San Jose, back in 1977.
While the franchise adapts to suit kids of the current generation, the robotic residency of the classic characters at the Northridge location serves as an anchor to the brand’s past. And it might help assuage any restless souls at the hearts of those machines (just to make sure they don't go all FNaF on us). It also gives Munch an opportunity to check out Los Angeles’ Griffith Observatory and search for his home planet.
The Northridge, California Chuck E. Cheese location is hosting a grand reopening November 10, with an appearance from Nolan Bushnell and the company’s current CEO David McKillips. The event is a purple carpet premiere, open to the public and runs from 6:00 - 8:00 P.M. local time. Guests can enjoy free cake, a performance by Munch’s Make Believe Band, a signed poster, and a raffle for prizes including a full year of unlimited all-you-can-play. Guests can also trade in old tokens –– they are being replaced by reloadable passes –– for an exclusive commemorative pin.
“As an important part of the legacy of the brand, we know that the animatronic band holds a special place for many fans in their childhood memories,” said McKillips. “We want our fans to know that the decision to keep the band here is meant as a gesture of love and gratitude as our legacy continues to evolve in new ways.”