Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Chuck E. Cheese's: Where Despair Unspools

What do you get when you mix super bright artificial lighting, cardboard-crusted pizza, extravagantly priced weak beer, noise levels to rival any airport runway, the smell of last year's salad fixings mingling with every kind of body odor, free-roaming actors in giant rat costumes, pre-teen histrionics and reptilian territoriality? A grim war of all against all, that's what you get:

Chuck E. Cheese's bills itself as a place "where a kid can be a kid." But to law-enforcement officials across the country, it has a more particular distinction: the scene of a surprising amount of disorderly conduct and battery among grown-ups ... It isn't clear exactly how often fights break out at Chuck E. Cheese's 538 locations. Richard Huston, executive vice president of marketing for the chain's parent company, CEC Entertainment Inc. of Irving, Texas ...
Maybe it isn't clear how many fights break out at Chuck E. Cheese's 538 locations, but whatever the number is, it is mystifying that it isn't higher. It's mystifying that anyone gets out of there alive.

Previous Chuck E. Cheese's coverage here.

(via denialism blog)


Mike said...

Happily the nearest Chuck E. Cheese is 160 miles away,so I have mercifully been denied the privilege of dining there. Any establishment that makes McDonald's seem serene and dignified is going to struggle to get my custom.

I did once hold a birthday party for my daughter at a Sioux Falls kids-oriented pizza place which actually was well-suited to such an event. I suspect Chuck E. Cheese gets a certain amount of that type of business.

larryniven said...

I just think that it's a travesty how C-E-C's still exists but you can't find a Discovery Zone to save your life.

...aha, and no wonder: wiki says C-E-C's bought them out. A pox on both their houses.

Dale said...

Mike, 160 miles is a good start. I recommend keeping an eye on that and making sure no one gets a notion of building one any closer.

LN, I'm not familiar with Discovery Zone, but nothing you've said here encourages me to get to know more.