Chuck E. Cheese's was founded by Nolan Bushnell (founder of Atari & Pong), in May 1977. The first Chuck E. Cheese's was located on Winchester Boulevard, in San Jose, California. The concept for Chuck E. Cheese's evolved from Mr. Bushnell's belief that there were not enough places where young people could go to play video games that had a family atmosphere.
In 1984 the parent company to Chuck E. Cheese's, Pizza Time Theatre Inc. was purchased by their direct competitor at the time Showbiz Pizza. A few years later it was decided to change the target audience to focus specifically on families with young kids. Both the Chuck E. Cheese's and ShowBiz names continued to be used until 1992, when Chuck E. Cheese's Pizza became the name for all of the restaurants.