Robots Out, Real Guys In


For many years, one of the most iconic aspects of a visit to Chuck E. Cheese was a chance to see the animatronic band that would entertain the crowd like clockwork. Now, those robot performers are slowly disappearing from the chain, as the company begins to phase them out completely in an effort to rebrand.

In an anachronistic twist, live actors will take the robots old jobs. Execs at the umbrella company believe kids have lost interest in the old mechanical band and would rather cavort with the big dude in person. CEC reportedly owns over 500 facilities here and abroad, with over 50 more owned by franchisees.

After nearly two decades, CEC Entertainment is redesigning itself entirely, setting out to update its customers’ experience and bring the longtime entertainment staple into the modern day. The renovations are set to bring in more muted colors, sleeker furniture and brighter lighting in hopes of redefining the experience.

The new look will be rolled out in seven locations, four in San Antonio and three in Kansas City. Other elements of the redesign will be implemented in other CEC restaurants as time goes on.

The classic purple-and-red awnings and checkerboard paneling of CEC locations is being ditched as well, with the new design featuring softer colors and an updated logo. The animatronic’s traditional stage is being replaced by a centralized dance floor. Finally, tokens are out of the system now as well, with the company’s gaming system updated with “play passes.” However, company execs stressed that its beloved tickets aren’t going anywhere soon.


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