Without the Beatles, there would be no Rolling Stones and without Chuck E Cheese there would be no Showbiz Pizza. And like the Rolling Stones, Showbiz paid homage to it's predecessor while taking pizza-themed, entertainment to new heights.
When Showbiz arrived in Mobile in March 1982, at Downtowner Loop, Chuck E Cheese had already been opened a year. But to my young eyes, Showbiz appeared to be light years ahead.
Chuck E. Cheese's Pizza Time Theatre opened in Mobile, Alabama in April 1981
I hate Chuck E. Cheese...or I should say, I hate what it's become. Today, your local Chuck E. Cheese has all the appeal of a grade school cafeteria, complete with the crappy food and disgruntled staff.
But when Chuck E. Cheese's came to town in 1981, it was like a small pizza scented portal to Disneyworld opened right in Mobile, Alabama. I remember kids losing their minds at the avalanche of entertainment possibilities promised by the TV commercials. As impressive as the commercials seemed, in person, the size and the scale were more than a kid could take in on one evening. It demanded repeat visits!
In 1980's Mobile, Alabama, video games were as common as wood paneling decor
The Raindrop (1982), B.C. Rain High School
In the early 80's, Mobilians could find video games at arcades, skating rinks, pizza parlors, movie theaters, mini-golf, bowling alleys, barber shops, and gas stations—basically anywhere that kids and electrical outlets co-existed.
And boy did kids love their video games. By 1983, video game addiction became such a problem, that "Huck Finn" laws were invoked to tackle truancy.
Susan Semmes reports on the growing video game truancy issue at 4 min mark
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