Showbiz Pizza is a small family entertainment center chain operating in the United States.
Foundation and early success Edit
The chain was founded in the 1980s under the name "Showbiz Pizza Place", founded by ex-employees of Pizza Time Theatre, Inc., who would become SPP's main competitor. The company found early success, owing partially to the rise in popularity of arcade games at the time. The basic concept was to offer pizza, a large selection of arcade games, and an animatronic stage show as a complete package of food and entertainment. The largest difference between the two, and easiest way to distinguish the two chains, was the different robotics and the mascots that each concept used. The mascot for ShowBiz is Billy Bob, an overall-clad hillbilly bear.
In the approach to the mid 80s, Showbiz was one of the companies that suffered from the great Video Game Crash of 1983. The chain was bought out by Pizza Time Theatre, Inc. (its rivals at the time), and was renamed "Showbiz Pizza Time, Inc".
Decline and shutdown Edit
In the late 80s, now operating under the name "Showbiz Pizza", the chain began to suffer from decline. Customers were now being drawn in to the newly-opened Discovery Zone chain (which focused on more active activities for their child guests) and Chuck E. Cheese's (which was both Showbiz's sister chain and arch-rival). It was soon decided that the chain would undergo a process dubbed as "Concept Unification". This would eventually transpire as an attempt to rebrand every remaining Showbiz Pizza Place in the United States under the Chuck E. Cheese's brand.
The last Showbiz Pizza location was shut down in 1994. The location reopened as a Chuck E. Cheese's.
In 1997, a company called Rock-afire Entertainment was formed and brought back the "Showbiz Pizza" name as well as the Rock-afire Explosion for which the company was named after. The company also owns the Jeepers! and Billy Bob's Wonderland family entertainment center chains.
One of Showbiz's later rivals, Discovery Zone, would go on to be annexed in 1999 by its former owners at Showbiz Pizza Time, which was now operating under the name CEC Entertainment, Inc. Like the old Showbiz chain, Discovery Zone would be subjected to a large-scale Chuck E. Cheese's rebranding.
Opportunities begin to vanish Edit
At the turn of the millennium, it was deemed "possible" for Showbiz to go up against Chuck E.'s once again and become a national rival in the FEC business, however this changed when Chuck E.'s began to expand exponentially and continue to draw in customers. By 2016, it was deemed "impossible" for Showbiz to do this, however, when CEC Entertainment was bought out by the Japanese conglomerate Kabushiki Gaisha ABS and commenced with a much larger round of expansion which even crossed the United States border.
Showbiz had, however, changed its stance and is operating as a small chain of "local" family entertainment centers.