The 3-Stage is an animatronic stage format found at some Chuck E. Cheese's restaurants. The format is found in locations that originated as ShowBiz Pizza Place restaurants. In most cases, the animatronics on the 3-Stage are manufactured by Creative Engineering.
Center stage is decorated to resemble a rooftop. The backdrop is designed to resemble a cityscape, and a large lit sign that reads "Munch's Make Believe Band" is located behind the characters. Center stage contains the following characters:
Stage right contains a black rain curtain backdrop, a neon sign, a star that lights up in certain songs, and a television. Stage right contains Chuck E. Cheese.
Additionally, the Wink, a sign containing an image of Chuck E. Cheese with an animated winking eye, is located on the valence over center stage. Some locations have a Wink that is colored.
The 3-Stage format was originally designed for ShowBiz Pizza Place restaurants to house The Rock-afire Explosion animatronic show, which operated on three stages.
Due to changing relations with Creative Engineering, which owned The Rock-afire Explosion, ShowBiz Pizza Time moved to replace The Rock-afire Explosion with a different stage show. To that end, ShowBiz test marketed the use of licensed characters, ultimately deciding to test Hanna-Barbera's Yogi Bear and Boo Boo at three ShowBiz locations for a one-year period.
The Rock-afire Explosion was ultimately removed from ShowBiz Pizza Place restaurants via Concept Unification, which replaced the Rock-afire characters with Chuck E. Cheese characters as Munch's Make Believe Band. This was accomplished by replacing the cosmetics on the existing animatronics, changing the locations of animatronics on the stage, changing stage backdrops, and upgrading equipment. All of the former Rock-afire animatronics were reused, with the exception of those used for Billy Bob and Earl Schmerle, which were completely removed and like other unused items were likely either destroyed, put into storage, or sold to collectors.
The first Munch's Make Believe Band 3-Stages were first installed in Arlington, Texas and CEC Department 18 in November 1989. From there-on three other test stages were installed in 1990, they included several differences compared to the finalized 3-Stage shows in 1991.
During Concept Unification, the animatronics were fitted with latex masks, similar to the masks on Rock-afire Explosion characters prior to Concept Unification. Beginning in November 1999, in a cost-cutting measure, the latex masks on the animatronics would begin to be replaced with ones made of thin plastic at all locations .
In the early 2010s, three of the 3-Stage locations were converted to the CU 1-Stage format, which utilizes the Creative Engineering animatronics on a single stage with "Chuck E's Make Believe Band" wording on the valence, and a new backdrop behind the characters. Only Chuck E. Cheese, Helen Henny, Mr. Munch, Jasper T. Jowls, and Pasqually are used in this new format.
As of January 2020, 37 3-Stages remain in operation in the United States.
- The 3-Stage in Wilmington, Delaware had neon lights around the buildings in the background as of 2014. It was replaced by a Circles of Light stage (From SA Ingram) in October 2017 and was sent to corporate for spare parts.
- The 3-Stage in Wilmington, North Carolina is the last known 3-Stage to have both Munch Jr. and a white helicopter light. However, Munch Jr is currently not being programmed for newer shows, but still works. This particular 3-stage also lacks a "Munch's Make Believe Band" sign and has a Helen with ginger hair instead of black-and-white. This location also has Pizzacam. Pasqually and Munch also have latex right shoes, and plastic left shoes, Chuck E. has his rockstar shirt and jeans, making this and Department 18 the only 3-Stages to have them both.
- Before its closure in 2016, the 3-Stage in Guatemala City, Guatemala was the last known 3-stage to still have a latex Jasper and a latex Pasqually mask. It was also the only known 3-stage to feature a Chuck E Cheese light from a 2-stage. It was also the only known 3-stage outside the United States. The 3-Stages in Lynnwood, Washington and Guatemala City feature an LED display that reads "Chuck E. Cheese" in color changing lights; They are the only known 3-stages with this feature. The animatronics from this location are on display at the new location with the Circles of Light stage.
- The 3-Stage In Springfield, Massachusetts is currently the only 3-Stage in the state and the New England region. The animatronics got replaced with the Cyberamics from the now closed Burlington, Massachusetts location in September 2017. Surprisingly, Jasper's banjo has been kept intact, but Munch's cap was removed, the 2-Stage buildings were put on Chuck's stage as well.
- Lynnwood, Washington's 3-Stage is one of the two 3-Stages that uses Cyberamic characters like the 1-Stage, 2-Stage, Road Stage, and Rocker Stage. Jasper and Munch have their PTT masks, and Chuck E. has his latex feet. This stage also has a 2-Stage star for Chuck E. as well as a neon sign. They also have buildings from a 2-Stage along with the normal buidlings.
- The 3-Stage in Madison, Wisconsin has a blue Beach Bear guitar, instead of red. It also features a helicopter light. Helen also has plastic Pasqually hands that are painted white.
- The 3-Stage in York, Pennsylvania had the Munch's Make Believe Band sign placed on Stage Right next to Chuck E Cheese instead of Stage Center behind Mr. Munch like the other 3-Stages. They also used the Flying Cheese Guitar. The center stage fiber optic background was taken out and replaced with led lights on the buildings. Chuck E. also had a latex left hand. (This location received a 2.0. remodel)
- The 3-Stage in Greensboro, North Carolina is one of four stages in the state to have the Rockstar Pants. They also have a Beach Bear guitar, and Chuck E. has walkaround shoes.
- The 3-Stage in Visalia, California is the last remaining 3-Stage in the state. Their Chuck E. Cheese animatronic has Jasper's red tennis shoes, unlike most 3-Stages. It had also been in a state of disrepair, and Jasper has a Beach Bear guitar as well.
- The 3-Stage in Pensacola, Florida had a red Beach Bear guitar and had the Ticket Blaster positioned between Jasper and Pasqually where the speaker used to be. (This location has received 2.0.)
- The 3-Stage in Roanoke, Virginia is one of the two 3-Stages that no longer feature The Wink. They also have a black plastic Pizzacam.
- The 3-Stage in Phoenix, Arizona is the only one in the state. West Mesa had the second to last stage until it was removed in 1997. It also has a helicopter light and the original unpainted Wink with the "In Pizza We Trust" slogan. This particular 3-stage has Pasqually wearing Jasper's red tennis shoes, and also lacks a TV on Stage Right. It is the oldest existing CEC 3-Stage currently and it was converted in October 1990 as a test stage. Jasper used to have a Billy Bob guitar and Pasqually's shoes as well.
- The 3-Stage in West Mesa, Arizona had Pasqually's early background as well as Chuck's early tuxedo. Jasper had a Billy Bob guitar and his shoes were switched with Pasqually's. It was installed in September 1990 as a test stage and was replaced in December 1998 for a Studio C Alpha. This location closed down in August 2015 and is now Pratt's Pets.
- The 3-Stage in West Des Montes, Iowa has a Munch Keyboard from a 1-Stage/2-Stage. It also no longer features The Wink, and it's the only 3-Stage in the state. It is also the oldest RAE 3-Stage currently.
- The 3-Stage in San Antonio "Ingram", Texas also lacked a "Munch's Make Believe Band" sign before the 3-Stage was replaced with a Circles of Light stage. This location has since gotten 2.0.
- The 3-Stage in Huntsville, Alabama had several cosmetic modifications made to it by the location's technician. Pizzacam now has a black plastic body and an antenna. Munch's keyboard has a personalized front with the initials "CEC" on it. Jasper's guitar was completely repainted to red, white and blue with a few extra ornamental features added. Moon also has an American flag on him. Also, as of 2020, the location has returned Helen's original green cheerleader outfit, and Helen's hair is now yellow.
- The 3-Stage in Chicago "Kedzie", Illinois no longer has any light effect, curtains, Chuck E. Cheese's black triangular pedestal, Jasper's Beach Bear guitar, and Chuck's Flat Screen TV. They still have Building and Moon but their air lines were removed.
- The 3-stage in Darien, Illinois is one of the few stages where Chuck E. Cheese is not positioned on top of a black triangular pedestal like in most other locations. Pasqually was also moved to the center of his stage after removal of the location's Pizzacam. This stage also has the curtains removed, and is in disrepair.
- The 3-Stage in Peoria Illinois was the only 3-Stage in Illinois to have Curtains, a working Building and Moon, and was one of the two locations in Illinois to have a Helicopter Light the other being Chicago "Fullerton". (This location received 2.0.)
- The 3-Stage in Irving, Texas at CEC's corporate offices, Department 18 also has Helen with orange pigtails instead of black & white. The big screen TV next to Chuck has been removed, though the light extension on top was saved. The neon sign was moved to the left of Chuck. Pizzacam, Munch Jr., Building, and Moon have been removed from the corporate stage likely due to not having enough space and not being programmed at the time (However in January 2019, Building and Moon were placed behind the buildings for programing.). The stage now more resembles a CU 1-Stage, rather than a 3-Stage.
- The 3-Stage in Billings, Montana is the only one in Montana and is the second to last 3-Stage to have Mr. Munch wearing his hat. Helen's legs are also fuzzy, unlike most 3-Stages. They also have a sparkling Red and Silver Beach Bear Guitar (replaced with a Flying Cheese guitar), and the original unpainted Wink with the "In Pizza We Trust" slogan. Chuck E. still has the original latex feet.
- Before its closure on July 30, 2017, The 3-Stage in Orem, Utah was the last remaining 3-Stage in the state and had Munch's latex hands and Pasqually's latex feet. It had also been in a state of disrepair since the early 1990s, and this location had Munch Jr till 2012. They had a lot of old stuff backstage too.
- The 3-Stage in Paducah, Kentucky had Chuck E. Cheese positioned on the floor of the stage unlike most locations, which have him positioned on top of a black triangular pedestal. Paducah's Showroom had the wood-panel walls from when it was a ShowBiz location. (This location renovated to 2.0 with Chuck E. Live Stage)
- The 3-Stage in New Orleans, Louisiana had a black and green Beach Bear guitar (now since replaced with a Flying Cheese guitar). This is note-worthy as most 3-Stages have red and silver guitars. Pasqually's drum set and base flooring are also unique, and the stage has neon lights around the buildings, star, and the "Pasqually's" part of the brick wall.
- The 3-Stage in Omaha, Nebraska no longer has a Munch's Make Believe Band sign and Pasqually was moved to the middle of stage left after the removal of this location's Pizzacam. They also have the Chuck E. from Davenport, Iowa, and the Beach Bear guitar.
- The 3-Stage in Southgate, Michigan had neon lights around center stage, blue curtains for Chuck's stage, and the characters were realigned. They removed the Munch's Make-Believe Band sign in late 2015. This location has since gotten 2.0.
- The 3-Stage in Laurel, Maryland is the only 3-Stage in the state and they have a flat screen TV. They also have Pizzacam.
- The 3-Stage in Madison, Tennessee has the Ticket Blaster positioned next to Stage right. It also has a black plastic Pizzacam and a repainted and colored version of the Wink.
- The 3-Stage in Fargo, North Dakota had Jasper and Pasqually's latex masks till 2008. They still have a Beach Bear guitar as well.
- The 3-Stage in Altoona, Pennsylvania is the last 3-Stage in the state, and was the last location in the world to have a latex Helen mask, and the last location in the US to have a latex Jasper and Pasqually mask. The latex masks were removed in 2011. The Munch's Make Believe Band sign is on Stage Right and a TV is above Munch like how York, PA had their 3-Stage before 2.0.
- The 3-Stage in Dallas "Westmoreland", Texas opened as the 100th ShowBiz Pizza. Currently, the characters have Cyberamic shoes.
- The 3-Stage in Richmond "Midlothian", Virgina has the unpainted Wink, the Beach Bear guitar, and Pizzacam's box. Pizzacam used to be at this location until late 2017, he was restored previously.
- ^ " ". http://showbizpizza.com/info/documents/cec/cec_3stage-cecmask.pdf.
- ^ " ". http://w11.zetaboards.com/Retro_Pizza_Zone/topic/11546016/4/.
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- ^ " ". http://w11.zetaboards.com/Retro_Pizza_Zone/topic/11618154/1/.