Visit to '80s animatronic rock band warehouse


16 Responses to “Visit to '80s animatronic rock band warehouse”

  1. Anonymous says:

    I used to love collecting the 45′s from Showbiz Pizza. Outside of Chicago, The Showbiz ultimately became a Chimpy’s Pizza Safari – and it still had a working Rock-A-Fire, only the songs had been updated. It was still working in the early 90s.


  2. Daemon says:

    What’s interesting to me is how many different versions there were of what is otherwise the same business. The varient we had here was Chuck E Cheese

  3. Rodney says:

    My friend made a movie about the Rock-afire Explosion and Aaron Fechter. It’s a good watch and available on Hulu.

  4. blackabe says:

    Takes me back to the days at the Organ Grinder in Toronto.

  5. Anonymous says:

    I live in Huntington WV home of Marshall University which happens to have the same “M” as Mitzy is wearing and the green and white color scheme. We also have a Rock-a-Fire robot band kin our local Billy Bobs Pizza Wonderland. Its been here at least twenty-five years. Is every Mitzy wearing this same outfit or is the robot in the video and pic from my hometown? Either way this was fun to watch! Rock-a-Fire foreva!!

  6. BrerMatt says:

    You can still hear the sultry sounds of Fatz the Gorilla and some of the others here in Central Florida…

  7. m in athens says:

    The Rock-afire Explosion movie is really good! A friend loaned it to me and I loved it. Definitely worth checking out if you like animatronics or are a fan of people-scale documentaries.

  8. Anonymous says:

    I use the parking garage across from this warehouse and always look for an open window so I can sneak a peak as I go to and from my car. On the roof of the warehouse is an ever changing graffiti mural from local taggers. Ever-changing as in it gets painted over. Always interesting though. I would like to post an image of what is currently there, but because the warehouse is unassuming and unmarked, and because the Flickr set didn’t show the outside, I’ll refrain. But if you work in the DT Orlando area, chances are someone you work with can point it out to you. So while you might not get a peak inside, take a moment to check out the art on top.

  9. Anonymous says:

    For old school mechanical music and good food, check out Luigi’s Pizza Parlor in Saccramento on Stockton Blvd.

  10. VagabondAstronomer says:

    I worked at Showbiz Pizza Place right out of high school, one of the first ones built in 1980. Was there for four years, saw the peak of the American arcade and the following crash. Chuck E Cheese was a similar concept, though got a later launch. There was a lawsuit, I believe, that Chuck E Cheese filed against the folks at Showbiz but later lost. By the time the lawsuit ended, though, it was pretty much game over; our store was franchised to a Christian fundy company out of Tennessee that felt that if you had testicles you worked in the kitchen only and that X-chromosome bearers worked the floor and directly with the customers (I was the team leader in charge of the beverage bar and dining areas, so I was effectively screwed). I quit.
    The robotics were pneumatic. I used to love shutting off the power at closing time and then running a show just to watch them run down.
    Then there was the time Billy Bob’s arm mechanism broke and his hand slid a few inches lower. Had a group of visiting Greek sailors who barely understood English, but the language that hand was conveying hovering over that robotic bear’s crotch was universal. Good times, good times.

  11. jnordb says:

    Is anybody else gonna have nightmares after looking at that flickr photostream?

  12. BrerMatt says:

    Check out a very recent illustrated trip to Creative Entertainment too, by Thomas Thorspecken:

  13. pox says:

    Billy Bob’s playing a cigar box guitar.

  14. JasonsRobot says:

    Aaron Fechter had been programming the band to do contemporary songs recently. His ‘request’ site hasn’t been updated since Oct 2010, though. He’d use the actual track and choreograph the band to the song. They’re all pretty well done.

    Here’s the YouTube page featuring lots of the songs with some behind the scenes-ish videos as well
    This song is: Electric Feel by MGMT –

  15. srhorer1 says:

    Another fantastic movie I came across can be found at: and they have a Facebook page
    The animatronics were amazing. He takes you on a tour of this warehouse that hasn’t been used in years! Incredible, along with footage from fans with interviews. You really have to check it out.

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