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Nolan Bushnell (born Feburary 5th, 1943) is the man who is known as the founder of Chuck E. Cheese. He owned the Chuck E. Cheese brand from 1977 until 1984, when he sold it to ShowBiz Pizza Time, Inc. He is also known for co-founding the video game company Atari.

Early Life[]

Nolan Kay Bushnell was born on Feburary 5th, 1943 in Clearfield, Utah to a Mormon family.



On June 27, 1972, Nolan Bushnell and Ted Dabney founded the video game company, Atari. Atari would also later supply Pizza Time Theatre locations with Arcade machines.

Chuck E. Cheese[]

Originally, Bushnell wanted to make a place for people to eat food and play arcade games. He then saw what he thought to be a coyote mascot costume and bought it. He decided to name his restaurant Coyote's Pizza. However, when he received the mascot costume it was a rat. He decided to change the name to Rick Rat's Pizza, but Rick Rat was already copyrighted. It also didn't help that people felt Rick Rat's Pizza was a bad name for a pizza restaurant because you don't want rats in the kitchen. Finally, he created the name Chuck E. Cheese which was alliterative of Mickey Mouse and a name that forced people to smile. Chuck E. Cheese's Pizza Time Theatre finally opened its first location on May 17, 1977.