Unfortunately, poor Charles Entertainment Cheese. Best known to his friends (as well as beleaguered parents and disaffected teenagers who have to go somewhere to play House of the Dead and Dance Dance Revolution now that regular arcades are so hard to come by) as Chuck E. Cheese, the animatronic mouse. and his crew of equally horrifying friends have found themselves in some financial hot water thanks to the COVID-19 quarantine. After 43 years in business, the arcade restaurant where “kids can be kids” has filed for bankruptcy, according to The Boston Globe.
That doesn't necessarily mean that all of Charles' 734 restaurants around the world will be closing for good. CEO David McKillips stated that “the Chapter 11 process will allow us to strengthen our financial structure as we recover from what has arguably been the most challenging event in the company's history.”
The COVID-19-related shutdowns have been so challenging, in fact, that some Chuck E. Cheese stores have begun trying to offer delivery via GrubHub and other delivery apps with an alias—Pizza and Pasqually's wings. Pasqually being, of course, Pasqually P. Pieplate, one of the many mascot characters that is part of Chuck E. Cheese's extensive universe (he's just a pizza chef and drummer, not one of the anthropomorphic animals).
With any luck, we will continue to see these creative measures being taken by the company to ensure its survival. After all, horror-adjacent animatronics are still very much in vogue thanks to the popular Five Nights At Freddy's franchise - who knows, maybe the future of child-friendly pizza galleries lies in the haunted house industry. “Where a child can be absolutely terrified” may not be as catchy as “where a child can be a child”, but there is certainly a ring to that.