[ Retro Scan ] Chuck E. Cheese Tokens and Tickets

June 6th, 2017 by Benj Edwards

Front of Chuck E. Cheese Pizza Time Theatre Tokens Scan 1980 1982 1983Five early 1980s Pizza Time Tokens from Benj’s Collection

Chuck E. Cheese’s Pizza Time Theatre launched 40 years ago last month — on May 16, 1977. To celebrate the anniversary, I wrote a long feature about the origins of the pizza chain for FastCompany that they published last week.

While researching the article, I recalled my childhood token collection (pseudo numismatic, as they say) that likely had a few vintage Chuck E. Cheese specimens. After checking, sure enough, I found five authentic Pizza Time game tokens dated from the years 1980, 1982, and 1983.

Back of Chuck E. Cheese Pizza Time Theatre Tokens Scan 1980 1982 1983The reverse side of the tokens seen above — In Pizza We Trust

They were in pretty grody shape, replete with corrosion on their presumably brass finishes. I wanted to scan some for the article, so I shined them up with Brasso, and here they are.

While I was looking for the tokens, I happened upon my vintage game ticket collection (yeah, I like to collect, ok?). Of course, there were three vintage Chuck E. Cheese tickets in there, which can be seen below:

Back of Chuck E. Cheese Pizza Time Theatre Tickets Scan Early 1980sPizza Time tickets that “may be redeemed at Jasper’s General Store”

All of these artifacts came from a local Pizza Time Theatre located on Wake Forest Rd. in Raleigh, NC during the very early 1980s. I think it was there from about 1980 to 1983 or 84. I remember going there as a kid, being mystified by the robots and terrified by the man in the Chuck E. Cheese walk-around costume.

At that time, Pizza Time was unlike any other restaurant experience, and I count myself fortunate to have experienced it during its original run. To learn more about its history, check out my article.

[ From Original Pizza Time Tokens (1980, 1982, and 1983) and Tickets (early 1980s) ]

Discussion Topic: Tell us your earliest memories of Chuck E. Cheese and Showbiz Pizza.

6 Responses to “[ Retro Scan ] Chuck E. Cheese Tokens and Tickets”

  1. Benj Edwards Says:

    Does anybody read this blog anymore? I recently upgraded WordPress, and I think I fixed the comment issues.

  2. tortimer Says:

    Still here. Strange thing is I remember going to the arcades a lot as a kid, and I remember Chuck E. Cheese being a popular destination. But I only ever visited once or twice. Faint memories. But I definitely remember other local places using custom tokens and those tickets for getting prizes. Sometimes we would have leftover tokens from one place and try and see if we could get them to work at the other place. Oh and I also remember how they would give you bonus tokens for putting in a larger bill, so for example 25 tokens for a $5 bill, so of course you gotta get those bonus tokens to help pay for the totally awesome .50 machines, usually something with a cockpit that would move around.

  3. Ant Says:

    I check this rad(ical) web site once a week. ALso, Rockafire Explosion is a good documentary related to this story: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gTmhS6hcY-A … 😉

  4. fernando Says:

    It’s on my Feedly reading list, and I check it daily 😀

  5. Millard Ramsey Says:

    Just came by to say I spent a LOT of time in Fannie Farkels and the other great pigeon forge and gatlinburg arcades. FF’s is one of the first places I saw Mortal Kombat. Dudes lined up to watch and play. Great times.

  6. Joe Lewis Says:

    I’m a serious Chuck E Cheese token and ticket collector. I’ve created a website (cectokens.com) to catalogue every variety.

    Anyway, I would seriously love to get one of those tickets. Are you interested in maybe a trade or even sale?


Leave a Reply