While they haven't hit the cult fame of the Rock-afire Explosion, let's not forget that Munch's Make Believe Band pioneered animatronic rock and roll in their performances at Chuck E. Cheese restaurants around the country. Now though, the only place to catch the Make Believe Band will be during their new "permanent residency" at the Chuck E. Cheese in Northridge, California, the company announced.
"The Company has been busy renovating fun centers nationwide with updated features to offer multi-activity options for all ages," according to a statement. "New enhancements include a new state-of-the-art interactive dance floor, a giant video wall and screens, the most popular kid-focused arcade games, and new trampolines zones in select fun centers around the nation."
Chuck E. Cheese was the brainchild of Nolan Bushnell, the "king of Pong" who famously founded Atari and launched a home videogame revolution before combining high-technology and robot animals with affordable family dining. (You can read about Bushnell's incredible trajectory in this profile I wrote for Salon in 1999.)
"Chuck E. Cheese is and was an essential part of growing up," Bushnell said in a statement quoted by SFGate. "… It's great that the original animatronic band will remain in residency at the Northridge location while the other locations offer experiences and create memories with the new vision."