Apparently pockets full of tokens and an animatronic band don't hold the same appeal to children kids they did in the 1980s and 1990s.
Chuck E. Cheese, longtime home of kids' birthday parties and family nights at the arcade, is getting an extreme makeover.
The 610-store chain's new design is being unveiled at numerous locations across the nation. It features brighter lighting, sleeker furniture, cleaner signage and a new logo that looks less, well, ratty.
Munch's Make Believe Band has been dumped.
And tokens are being replaced with play passes that allow children to ride and play as much as they want within a set amount of time, starting at $10 for 30 minutes.
Instead of giving wooden performances in a mechanical band, the Chuckster will make hourly appearances on the restaurant's new interactive dance floor.
Tailored to aspiring Instagram stars, the dance floor is under an array of flat video screens and signs proclaiming, "You're A Star."
Grown-ups hoping to shut themselves away from the reverie can indulge in new menu choices like cauliflower-crust pizza and an expanded salad bar featuring more than 30 items.
This isn't Charles' first bite at trendier cheese.
In 2012, the company's owners announced they were retiring the mouse's outdated persona and replacing it with a revamped image of him as a youthful guitar-playing rock star. That same year, the chain said the man who provided Chuck E.'s voice in restaurants and commercials for nearly three decades had been replaced by the lead singer of Bowling for Soup. Yep, that's the same band that taught us that High School Never Ends and told us the story of Debbie, the grown-up mom who remains preoccupied with 1985.
The newest rebranding is part of owner CEC Entertainment's strategy to keep the pizza-and-fun concept alive in an era in which families have unfettered access to on-demand movies, video games and food delivery services without leaving their living rooms.
Chuck E. Cheese was launched in 1977 by Atari founder Nolan Bushnell.