Chuck E. Cheese's 610 stores rebranding for a new generation

Ron Hurtibise
Sun Sentinel
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Apparently pockets full of tokens and an animatronic band don’t hold the same appeal to kids as they did in the 1980s and 1990s.

Chuck E. Cheese, longtime home of kids’ birthday parties and family nights at the arcade, is getting an extreme makeover.

The 610-store chain’s new design is being unveiled at numerous locations across the nation. It features brighter lighting, sleeker furniture, cleaner signage, and a new Chuck E. Cheese logo that looks less, well, ratty.

Chuck E. Cheese, longtime home of kids birthday parties and family nights at the arcade, is getting an extreme makeover.

Munch’s Make Believe Band has been dumped. (Inconsolable fans will have to make believe it’s still there).

And tokens are being replaced with play passes that allow kids to ride and play as much as they want within a set amount of time, starting at $10 for 30 minutes.

Instead of given wooden performances in a mechanical band, the Chuckster will make hourly appearances on the restaurant’s new interactive dance floor.

Tailored to aspiring Instagram stars, the dance floor is located under an array of flat video screens and signs proclaiming, “You’re A Star.”

Grownups hoping to shut themselves away from the reverie can indulge in new menu choices like cauliflower crust pizza and an expanded salad bar featuring more than 30 items.

The newest rebranding is part of owner CEC Entertainment’s strategy to keep the pizza-and-fun concept alive in an era in which families have unfettered access to on-demand movies, video games and food delivery services without leaving their living rooms.

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