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The 3-Stage is a stage type found at some Chuck E. Cheese locations. Most locations with these stages were originally Showbiz Pizza Place locations.

The 3-Stage introduced Munch's Make Believe Band, who are still around today, albeit in puppet and walk-around form.

History

Origin

The original format for the 3-Stage dates back to the 1980s at Showbiz Pizza Place restaurants. As this stage design was the default type for the chain's animatronic band: The Rock-afire Explosion.

In the late 1980s due to changing relations with Creative Engineering, which owned The Rock-afire Explosion, ShowBiz Pizza Time decided to replace The Rock-afire Explosion with a different stage show. A few were tested before deciding to use the Chuck E. Cheese's Characters in a process called Concept Unification.

A Prototype was made around 1989, which ended up not being used, using the Pizza Time Theater designs of the characters. According to Jul Kamen (designer of the CU Prototype), after the Prototype, it was decided that Dave Thomas (a former employee of Creative Engineering), would be the one redesigning the show. Dave went on to "Mitzify" Helen to make her more marketable, and placed Munch on the keyboard due to his similar character-design to Fatz.

Installation and Format

As its name implies, the Chuck E. Cheese's characters are placed on 3 separate stages repurposed from the former Rock-afire Explosion animatronic show. Everything remained the same from the Rock-afire stage with the exception of equipment being upgraded, characters being moved or removed, and the Helicopter Light being installed.

Design

This was the first stage design to rearrange the order of Chuck E. and friends differently; Chuck E. and Munch have switched places from the original CU Prototype, with the former at stage right and the latter at center stage, as did Helen and Jasper; only Pasqually kept his original position at stage left.

Stage Right (Chuck E. Cheese)

Chuck E. Cheese is on the right on his own stage on top of a black triangular pedestal. He has a TV next to him, referred to as the Jukebox, displaying the showtape footage, a giant star behind him, a neon sign with his name, and a black curtain in the back.

Center Stage (Helen Henny, Mr. Munch, Jasper T. Jowls)

Center Stage is designed to resemble a rooftop at night. The stage contains Helen Henny, Mr. Munch on the keyboard along with a sign that had the band's name behind him, and Jasper T. Jowls sitting on a metallic barrel with Beach Bear's guitar. Building and Moon are behind the building backdrop behind Helen and Jasper respectively. Munch Jr. is placed inside of a barrel between Helen and Munch. Above the stage is The Wink.

Stage Left (Pasqually and Pizzacam)

Stage Left contains Pasqually the Chef on the drums on his own platform, and Pizzacam housed in a speaker box. The pair are located on what resembles a standup comedy stage, with a brick wall reading "Pasqually's Amateur Hour" in Graffiti.

CEC 3-Stage (1989-Present)

The first Chuck E. Cheese's 3-Stage was installed in November 1989 at the original Dallas "Montfort", Texas location. Five more test shows followed Montfort in mid-1990 at the Phoenix, AZ (8039 North 35th Ave), Arlington, TX (3200 Justiss Dr), Mesa (West), AZ (856 S Alma School Rd), Altamonte Springs, FL (541 W Hwy 436), and Orlando, FL (7419 International Dr) locations. By this point almost everything was finalized such as the band being named "Munch's Make Believe Band". However, there were a few differences from the finalized stage, such as Pasqually's Brick Wall, Jasper's Reddish-Brown Overalls, the Pink Munch's Make Believe Sign, and The Building's Mask, as well as the Singing Flowers that were only installed in a few Texas stores in 1989-1990, before going extinct later in the 90s. A few other 3-Stages were installed and tested during 1990 before the finalized and full rollout of the 3-Stage in 1991.

By March 1993 (Some sources say November 1994), all Showbiz locations open at the time rebranded into Chuck E. Cheese, with the exception of Lynchburg, VA. Additionally, both Fullerton, CA (now closed) and Tallahassee, Florida (now 2.0) opened with 3-stages and were never SPP Locations. These locations opened in December 1991 and April 1992, respectively. After a location finished Concept Unification, they would play a specific showtape for a few weeks before switching to the most current showtape at that time. There were a total of around 153 3-Stages installed, which never peaked at that number as a result of a few early closings, the earliest being in December 1992 (not even when CU had fully ended), and removals for different stages.

Originally, the animatronics were fitted with latex masks, similar to the masks on Rock-afire Explosion characters prior to Concept Unification. In the mid to late 1990s the characters had their latex masks updated to look more "friendly". However, beginning in November 1999, in a cost-cutting measure, the latex masks on the animatronics would begin to be replaced with ones made out of plastic at all locations.[1][2] Latex masks lasted in stores until 2016, with the last location featuring latex masks being Guatemala City, Guatemala.

As early as the mid 1990s, characters such as Pizzacam and Munch Jr. were removed from the stages either due to neglect, or vandalization by children which made them hard to find over the years. Building and Moon also fell down this path after the 2000s. Munch Jr. went extinct in October 2020, when the Wilmington, North Carolina location closed. However, a Munch Jr. replica was installed in the Pineville, North Carolina location during 2022. Pizzacam went extinct when the Huntsville, Alabama location received 2.0 on March 29th 2023. Currently, only one functional set of Building and Moon animatronics are left, located at the Charlotte, North Carolina (Pineville-Matthews) location. The other location to have them is Billings, Montana; although, they are in poor condition. It was announced that the Charlotte, North Carolina (Pineville-Matthews) would be one of five stores to retain their animatronic show with the live stage's installation.

In late 2010, a stage named the CU 1-Stage was introduced as a result of 3-Stage locations moving their showrooms due to expansions/remodels, only 3 were ever installed, and only 1 still exists as of May 2024 in Springfield Illinois. Springfield Illinois is scheduled to become a retro store some time in 2024.

From around 65 3-Stages in 2010; as of June 18, 2024, only 2 remain. The two remaining are Billings, Montana and Charlotte "Pineville", North Carolina.[3]Billings is planned to receive the 2.0 remodel in August, while Pineville is being kept as a retro store.

Trivia

  • This was the first stage to utilize the "Munch's Make Believe Band" name.
  • The location at Lynnwood, Washington has a 3-Stage with Cyberamics. This is due to the original 3-Stage animatronics at that location being in a severe state of disrepair.
  • The location at Chicago (Kedzie), Illinois has a Beta 16M 3-Stage. This special stage debuted at the Darien, Illinois. location in July 2020, and would then be installed at Kedzie in November 2020. Kedzie's stage combines elements from the Studio C Beta and 3-Stage, with the 16M bot and Beta swirl backdrop coming from Lafayette, Indiana (Which was actually a V3 Studio C Cappa that closed in October 2020.), the side mirrors coming from Avon, Indiana (which received 2.0 in 2021.), and the light-up Circles of Light posters coming from Matteson, Illinois (which closed in June 2020).
  • The location at Mobile, Alabama had 3 unique 3-Stages that would be swapped in and out from 1996 to around 1999. These stages were called the Playroom 3-Stage, Hollywood 3-Stage, and Winter 3-Stage.
  • The 3-Stage is tied with the Road Stage for the least common MMBB stage with 2 left as of May 2024.

Stage Locations

Here is a list of every 3-Stage location. Listed below is the last 3-Stage in every state, along with any international locations.

Last in the State

Including Current 3-Stages
State City CU Conversion Condition Status
Alabama Huntsville 1991 Good Condition, Helen had a green cheerleader outfit, Munch had a unique keyboard front, had the last public (Black box) Pizzacam, Last MMBB Stage in Alabama Received 2.0 in March 2023.
Arizona Phoenix 1990 Decent Condition, oldest CU-Converted stage, had old cu backdrops, wink had "In Pizza We Trust Slogan", Chuck had rare "Cool Chuck" outfit, Last MMBB Stage in Arizona Received 2.0 in January 2023.
Arkansas North Little Rock 1991/1992 Very Poor Condition, Chuck had rare "Cool Chuck" outfit, wink had "In Pizza We Trust" Slogan. Last full MMBB in Arkansas. Local store of User:CNR21995. Received 2.0 in August 2019.
California Visalia 1991 Last 3-Stage in California, Very Poor Condition, Chuck had rare cool chuck outfit and walkaround shoes, Jasper had his Beach Bear guitar. Received 2.0 in February 2024.
Colorado Fort Collins 1991 Good Condition, Jasper had beach bear guitar, Pasqually had CU Drumfront, Last MMBB Stage in Colorado Closed on April 13, 2020.
Delaware Wilmington 1991/1992 Only MMBB Stage in Delaware, Good Condition, Stage had lighting similar to New Orleans. Replaced by Botless Circles of Light in 2017 due to water damage.
Florida Tallahasse 1992 Last 3-Stage to be produced in the US, Last MMBB Stage in Florida, Very Poor Condition, Jasper had Beach Bear Guitar, Pasqually had blue explosion drumfront. Received 2.0 in May 2024.
Georgia Augusta 1991 Decent Condition, Chuck had Rockstar Jeans, Pasqually had blue explosion drumfront, Last Full MMBB in Georgia Received 2.0 in April 2023.
Hawaii Honolulu 1991 Only 3-Stage in Hawaii, Good Condition, Chuck had rare "Cool Chuck" outfit. Closed in June 2009.
Idaho Boise 1991 Only CEC in Idaho, Poor Condition, Chuck had rare "Cool Chuck" outfit, had Pizzacam's box. Received 2.0 in August 2022.
Illinois Chicago 1991/1992 Good Condition. Replaced by Studio C 3-Stage in 2020 along with Darien.
Indiana Mishawaka 1991 Decent Condition, Chuck had rare "Cool Chuck" outfit, Pasqually had plain white drumfront, Last Full MMBB in Indiana Received 2.0 in July 2019, right after Pasqually caught fire.
Iowa West Des Moines 1991/1992 Oldest 3-Stage, Decent Condition, Chuck had rare "Cool Chuck" outfit, Pasqually had blue drumfront, stage lacked Wink, Last MMBB in Iowa Received 2.0 in July 2023.
Kansas Overland Park 1991/1992 Munch had "Sunrise" keyboard front, Jasper had beach bear guitar. Replaced by Studio C Alpha in 2000.
Kentucky Paducah 1992 Decent Condition, Jasper had Beach Bear guitar, Pasqually had "TKO" drumfront, showroom had wood paneling. Received 2.0 in December 2018.
Louisiana New Orleans 1991 Decent Condition, Stage had lighting, Chuck had Rockstar Jeans, Pasqually had clear drumfront, Last MMBB in Louisiana Received 2.0 in March 2023.
Maryland Laurel 1991 Only 3-Stage in Maryland, Good Condition, Chuck had Avenger outfit, had last blue Pizzacam. Received 2.0 in June 2022.
Massachusetts Springfield 1991 Only 3-Stage in New England, Poor Condition. Replaced by Cyberamics in October 2017, closed on June 25, 2020.
Michigan Flint 1991 Good Condition, Chuck had rare "Cool Chuck" khakis, Japser had beach bear guitar, Pasqually had plan white drumfront. Closed on June 25, 2020.
Mississippi Gulfport 1991/1992 Only 3-Stage to be converted in Mississippi. Closed on June 30, 1996.
Missouri Independence 1991/1992 Good Condition, Jasper had Beach Bear guitar. Closed in May 2012. (destroyed by tornado)
Montana Billings 1992 Only CEC in Montana, Decent Conditon, Chuck had rare "Cool Chuck" outfit, Munch has a hat, Pasqually has CU drumfront, Wink has In Pizza we trust slogan. Still In Operation.
Nebraska Omaha 1991 Very Poor Condition, Jasper had Beach Bear guitar, Last CEC open in Nebraska after Lincoln Closed Received 2.0 in March 2022.
North Dakota Fargo 1991 Only CEC in North Dakota, Poor Condition, Chuck had rare "Cool Chuck" outfit, Jasper had beach bear guitar, Wink had "In Pizza We Trust" slogan. Remodeled in December 2022, closed on February 8, 2024.
North Carolina Charlotte (Pineville) 1991 Good Condition, Helen Henny has yellow hair, Munch has hat like Billings and a Keyboard Front like Huntsville AL, Last location to have Munch Jr after Wilmington NC closed. Pasqually has TKO drumfront, Will stay permanantly, Have the Blue Pizzacam fron Laurel Still In Operation
Ohio Springfield 1992 Good Condition. Received 2.0 in August 2022.
Oklahoma Oklahoma City 1991 One of three Showbiz Pizza stores in Oklahoma to receive Concept Unification, Last MMBB in Oklahoma Replaced by Studio C Beta in 2006.
Pennsylvania Altoona 1991 Last 3-Stage in Pennsylvania, Chuck's TV & MMBB Sign switch places similar to York, PA, Chuck had Rockstar Jeans, Last MMBB in Pennslyvania Received 2.0 in May 2024.
South Carolina Columbia 1991 Poor Condition, Pasqually had white drumfront, Last MMBB in South Carolina Received 2.0 in November 2022.
Tennessee Madison 1991 Decent Condition, Chuck had rare "Cool Chuck" outfit, had Black Pizzacam. Received 2.0 in April 2022.
Texas Dallas

"Westmoreland"(Redbird)

1991 Poor Condition. Received 2.0 in August 2022.
Utah Orem 1992 Very Poor Condition, Chuck had rare "Cool Chuck" outfit, Jasper had white beach bear guitar, Pasqually had CU Drumfront, Last MMBB in Utah Closed on July 30, 2017.
Virginia Richmond 1992 Very Poor Condition, Jasper had Beach Bear guitar, had blue Pizzacam, Wink had "In Pizza We Trust" slogan. Received 2.0 in January 2023.
Washington Lynnwood 1991/1992 Only 3-Stage to be converted in Washington, Very Poor Condition. Replaced by Cyberamics in 2000. Closed on July 23, 2023.
Wisconsin La Crosse 1991 Decent Condition, Chuck had rare "Cool Chuck" outfit, Pasqually had blue drumfront. Received 2.0 in June 2022.
International Locations
Country City CU Conversion Condition Status
Guatemala Guatemala City 1996 Only 3-Stage outside of USA, 1 of 3 to be added after CU, Very Poor Condition, Chuck had rare "Cool Chuck" outfit, Jasper and Pasqually had latex masks, Pasqually had White Outfit and Red/White Checker Apron, Stage had 2-Stage "Chuck E Cheese" sign and wood flooring, Wink had "In Pizza We Trust" slogan. Closed in 2016, Bots on static display at Concepcion County, Guatemala.

Gallery

Manual Illustrations

3-Stage Gallery

References

Cec-logo-footer
Stages
Current Main Stages
1-Stage - 2-Stage - 3-Stage - Road Stage - Studio C Alpha - Studio C Beta - Small-Town Studio C - Circles of Light - Chuck E. Live Stage
Current Test Stages
Mini Unit 1-Stage - 1/2-Stage - Turntable 1-Stage - Small-Town Studio C Gamma - Studio C Beta/Cappa Mix - Mini Unit Studio C (1997) - CU 1-Stage - Circles of Light Wall - 1/3-Stage - Circles of Light Live Stage - Studio C Beta 3-Stage
Current Legacy Stages
2-Stage Live Stage - Studio C 2000 Live Stage - 1-Stage Live Stage - 3-Stage Live Stage - CU 1-Stage Live Stage
Retired Stages
Main: Portrait Stage - Cyberamic Portrait Stage - Balcony Stage - Rocker Stage - C-Stage
Other: Cyberamic Portrait/Balcony Mix - Family Album - Hot Fudge - Lake Forest Stage - Porch C-Stage - CU Prototype Stage - 2/3-Stage - Staten Island 1-Stage - Playroom 3-Stage - Hollywood 3-Stage - Winter 3-Stage - The Awesome Adventure Machine - Guatemala City 2-Stage - Studio C GM Convention - Studio C Alpha 3-Stage - Cyberamic 3-Stage - Studio C Beta Prototype - Single-Screen Studio C 2000 - Studio C Alpha/Prototype Mix - Small-Town Studio C Prototype - CU 2-Stage - Star Stage - Galaxy Stage - Chuck E. Live Stage Prototype
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