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The Circles of Light stage is a one-character Chuck E. Cheese's animatronic stage show that was first introduced at the Dallas, Texas (13364 Montfort Dr.) store on August 30th, 2012. It was the first stage to have 3 different variants, the 32M version, the 16M version, and the botless version. As of July 2024, 72 COLs remain in operation.

History[]

Development[]

In early 2012, Weigl became a Vendor Partner with CEC Entertainment Inc., to help with the new stage design. CEC was planning for the fifth iteration of the main stage attraction (which up to this point were the Studio Cs) when Weigl was asked to engage in the conversation. A major priority was to evolve the technology to allow for more advanced programming and control. Dubbed Circles of Light, the new stage show included many new elements designed to further engage the guests and highlight the Chuck E. animatronic and were to include features such as a large HD screen on the wall, enhanced theater-quality lighting, and touch-sensitive LED-backlit wall panels. The new stage was fabricated by Corman and Associates and continued to use the famous Chuck Animatronic produced by the California-based animatronic’s studio, Garner Holt Productions.

First Version and Appearance[]

The first version of Circles of Light was first installed at Dallas (Montfort Dr.), replacing their Star Stage. This stage features a large HD screen on the wall, dimmer lighting, and a bunch of Circles with lights. Chuck E. (being a 32M, reused from the Star Stage) is on a stage with a railing around him (taken from the Galaxy Stage) and a giant light-up circle with the half split in the middle. The Circles of Light would be installed with 16M bots with the exception of Montfort. This version would only be installed in 5 more stores with Springfield, Pennsylvania being the last store to get this version. Los Angeles (Wilshire) also had this version as they were supposed to open in 2012, but got delayed to 2014, this location has since closed.

Second Version, and Bot-less Versions[]

The second version would debut at San Diego (College Ave.) in December 2012, the only change that was made was the giant circle now had multiple lines going left to right.

In September 2012, the test stage in Dallas (Montfort Dr.) removed their animatronic. This would not affect Circles of Light installations afterwards until August 2013 when the second bot-less store opened their doors in Montgomery, Alabama.

From there Circles of Light stage would be installed with or without animatronics until 2014 when Los Angles (Wilshire Blvd.) opened. After this all stores opened with bot-less variants with the exception of franchises like Tucson, Arizona (now 2.0, bot removed), Chandler, Arizona (now 2.0, bot removed) and Kapolei, Hawaii. Originally, these bot-less versions kept the giant circle, but later versions removed it. After Yanbu, Saudi Arabia opened, the COL was discontinued being replaced by the Dance Floor as the main stage. Only 3 Circles of Light stages were installed afterwards: Plaza Satellite, Mexico (Opened in February 2020), Cumbres, Mexico (Park Point, Opened in August 2021), and Chihuahua, Mexico (Opened in October 2021).

In 2022, CEC made the decision to no longer produce physical discs for shows and instead go digital. During testing, problems were found with the system and Studio C, due to its special file formats. As such, CEC then made the decision to longer program the Studio C Shows (which included the Circles of Light as it ran on the same system).

From its peak of around 100, only 84 remain as of July 2024.[1]

Live Stage Version[]

27 of the remaining COLs have received Live Stages during their location's 2.0 renovations. The Kapolei, HI is the only one with a bot due to the long construction process (construction started 2015-16 and opened 2018).

Trivia[]

  • The COL was the last newly created stage to feature animatronics.
  • There is a technical easter egg hidden in the Circles of Light stage. During any video segment other than the Chuck E. Live segments or the musical acts, there are three circles that are always changing color while the others remain a single color. Pressing the color changing circle in the center under the screen will cause the stage to flash and shimmer.
  • As stated before, the Dallas, TX (13364 Montfort Dr.) location removed their Chuck E. bot in September 2012. In December 2013, the bot was moved to the Port Orange, Florida (5539 S Williamson Blvd.) location. On September 29th, 2022, as Hurricane Ian moved through Port Orange, the building's roof caved in, the stage and bot were fine, though the bot was destroyed by corporate shortly after. The building was eventually bulldozed in October / November 2022, with the store has plans to reopen later in November, 2023, after rebuilding.
  • As of March 2023, 19 Circles of Light stores remain with animatronics, after a total of 26 were installed between 2012 and 2018. 4 16M COLs (Riyadh (Exit 14), Saudi Arabia, Riyadh (Exit 5), Saudi Arabia, Los Angeles, CA (Wilshire), and Tuscon, Arizona.) and 4 32M COLs (Dallas, TX (Montfort), West Palm Beach, Florida, Port Orange, Florida, and Chandler, Arizona).

Locations[]

Here is a list of every Circles of Light location.

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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