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— StoneCreek Partners’ Location-Based Entertainment Timeline & History



StoneCreek Partners and its creative affiliate Adventure Entertainment (AEC) have created a first history and timeline for location-based entertainment (LBE).   The history focuses on the innovations and technologies that have propelled the LBE Industry since its inception.  From movie theaters to drive-through restaurants, to virtual reality and other living stories, to the coming revolution in outdoor recreation.  The leisure-time options for consumers in today’s out-of-home marketplace, are more varied than ever before.


The StoneCreek AEC team became interested in tracking location-based entertainment history as the various strands of the LBE Industry seem likely to intertwine more fully in the coming decade.   As well, other related trends and convergences are having their impact, as the retail mall industry, themed entertainment (and attractions), and online shopping, are completing their convergence into an integrated “retail-entertainment industry”.


A summary of the timeline is included here.   StoneCreek and AEC intend to provide ongoing updates as research continues, at this link:


The LBE Project



FEC NameProduct SummaryFirst Unit Year
Adventure LandingFirst park opens in Jacksonville Beach (Florida), in 1995, a project of the Adventure Entertainment Company. 1995
AdventurelandAn indoor 70,000 SF family entertainment center located in the Sahara Centre shopping mall in Sharjah (UAE).2002
All-American SportParkA themed FEC concept involving Andre Agassi 1998
America Live!
America’s Incredible Pizza Co.
The first restaurant opened in Springfield (Missouri) in 2002.2002
American Bandstand GrillFirst Unit1992
Arabian NightsDinner theater located in Kissimmee, Florida; closed for good in 2013.1988
Bass Pro ShopsFirst Unit opens in Springfield, Missouri, a simplistic version of the well-known modern superstores.1971
BattleTech CenterThe first BattleTech Center opened in Chicago in 1990, with others to follow eventually tallying 26 such facilities. 1990
Billboard Live!
Blockbuster's BlockPartyBlockbuster, a unit of Viacom, opens its first unit in Albuquerque, Indianapolis to follow in the next year. BlockParty is an indoor entertainment complex with high-tech games for adults.1994
Bowling's Automated PinsetterThe automated pinsetter for bowling is first unveiled at a warehouse across the street from the 1946 American Bowling Congress tournament in Buffalo (New York). The invention spurs a decade of bowling technology innovations, mostly by manufacturer AMF.1946
Bubba Gump Shrimp Company Restaurant and MarketOpens its first restaurant on Cannery Row in Monterey (California).1996
Casa Bonita Lakewood, Colorado1974
Castle Park RiversideA 25-acre amusement park and family entertainment center located in Riverside (California). Formerly operated as Castle Amusement Park. Now owned and operated by Palace Entertainment.1976
Chuck E. CheeseFirst unit opens in San Jose, California, called Chuck E. Cheese's Pizza Time Theatre. Concept was created by Nolan Bushnell, who also co-founded Atari.1977
Circus of Pepin and BreschardFirst modern circus founded in the U.S., John Bill Ricketts.1793
Cirque du SoleilThe first production, Le Grand Tour debuts in the small Quebec town of Gaspé, and is then performed in 10 other cities throughout the province. 1984
Club DisneyDisney opens five Club Disney units quickly, later deciding that all units would be shuttered by November, 1999.1997
Coca-Cola Store
Country Star American Music Grill
CycloneStill operating at Coney Island, the famed wooden roller coaster opens. Cyclone is capable of speeds of 60 mph and features an 85-FT drop.1927
Dave & BustersFirst unit opens in Dallas. The brainchild of David Corriveau and James "Buster" Corley, who famously removed the demising wall that divided their two separate, already operating entertainment venues.1982
Dick's Last ResortRowdy roadhouse restaurant featuring insulting server staff. First Unit opened in the West End in Dallas. Now owned by Deja Vu.1985
Disc GolfThe first formal disc golf course opens at Oak Grove Park in Pasadena (California).1975
Discovery Zone Play PlaceFirst unit opened in Kansas City (Missouri). Famed tennis professional, Billie Jean King, was an early investor.1989
Disneyland Walt Disney delivers a theme park.1955
DisneyQuestA Disney Regional Entertainment business unit, designed as a way for guests to experience the Disney Parks without having to be at the actual theme park destination. First unit located in Disney Downtown entertainment district (now Disney Springs). A second unit opened a year later in Chicago.1998
Downtown Disney Anaheim

Disney's version of Universal Studio's CityWalk, with much the same role in on-site guest circulation and entertainment.
Disney's version of Universal Studio's CityWalk, with much the same role in on-site guest circulation and entertainment.2001
Dreamscape ImmersiveFounded in 2016, Dreamscape is helmed by a veteran entertainment industry team and features a brace of Blue Chip investors.2018
Ducks Tours at the DellsMel Flath brings WWII land-to-water vehicles known as Ducks to Wisconsin Dells and set up a tour company.1946
Easyriders Cafe
Ed Debevic'sRetro dinner concept, with quirky if not mean servers.1984
EntrosA remarkably innovative supper club participatory entertainment concept, sputtered following St. Joe Company's investment.1992
ESPN ZoneThe first ESPN Zone opens at the Power Plant at Baltimore's Inner Harbor.1998
Evermore Park
Immersive story venue, now with customized story model.2018
ExploratoriumA San Francisco institution, was founded by physicist and educator Frank Oppenheimer and opened in 1969 at the Palace of Fine Arts. Since relocated.1969
Fashion Café This themed restaurant chain was defunct by 1999. Involved supermodels' Naomi Campbell, Elle Macpherson, Claudia Schiffer, and Christy Turlington.1995
Fashion Show Mall ExpansionRetail mall expansion including largest house show production system ever placed in a mall environment.2003
Flavian AmphitheaterFlavian's Amphitheater opens in A.D. 80, later to become known as the Colosseum. A project of Vespasian's son Titus. Mentioned here but its cruel sensibilities leave it off the Official LBE Timeline.
Ford Model T AutomobileThe Ford Model T automobile begins assembly-line production, setting the stage for the Great Experiential Loss (Norm Elder) of the American suburb.
Fun City1999
HappylonOpened at the Filion Mall in Moscow,2010
Hard Rock Café First unit at Old Park Lane, Mayfair, in London.1971
Harley Davidson CaféFirst Unit1993
Highway 76 BransonThe Presley family opens the first music theater on what is now known as Highway 76, followed by more than 50 such theaters along this highway.1967
Hippodrome TheatreThe New York City theater had a seating capacity of 5,200, with a stage 12 times larger than any Broadway "legit" house and capable of holding as many as 1,000 performers at a time, or a full-sized circus with elephants and horses. An 8,000-gallon clear glass water tank could be hydraulically raised for performances. Operated until closing in 1939.1905
HootersFirst Unit opened in Clearwater, Florida.1983
House of BluesFirst Unit1993
Icebar by Icehotel Jukkasjärvi Original ice bar opens in Jukkasjärvi (Sweden)1994
IMAX TheatersThe first IMAX theater system is set up at Ontario Place (Toronto).1971
In-N-Out Burger Drive-ThroughThe fast food food chain opens a novel drive-through only restaurant, in a 100 SF building with five cooks making take-out meals behind glass walls and fulfilling the order through the drive-up window. No seating and no outside parking lot, ordering by customers through a two-way intercom. In the same year, McDonald's is serving customers through walk-up windows.

Iwerks CinetropolisCreated by Donald W. Iwerks, the Disney technical guru and founder of Iwerks Entertainment Inc. The venue eventually closed in 2003.1993
Jekyll & Hyde1994
Jimmy Buffett's Margaritaville1987
John's Incredible Pizza Co.First unit opened in Victorville, California in a 16,000 SF location. 1997
KidZaniaFirst unit opens in Santa Fe, Mexico (a suburb of Mexico City), a concept created by Xavier López Ancona. Initially known as La Ciudad de los Niños.1999
Knickerbocker AlleysThe first indoor bowling alley in the U.S., opens in New York City. Instead of wood, this indoor alley used clay for the bowling lane. 1840
Legoland BillundThe first Legoland park opens, in Denmark.1968
Legoland Discovery Centerindoor family attraction chain operated by British leisure group Merlin Entertainments. 2007
Loulou Al Dugong'sOpens in Dubai in a 25,000 SF space.2000
Luna ParkThe first of many amusement facilities to bear this name, opens at Coney Island in Brooklyn (New York City). It was the second of the three original iconic amusement parks built at Coney Island, the other two being Steeplechase Park (1897) and Dreamland (1904). The park operated until 1944 when it was destroyed by first an not reopened.1903
Magic PlanetFirst unit opened at City Centre Deira, in Dubai. A concept of Majid Al Futtaim Group.1995
Mall of AmericaMall of America opens, on the site of the former Metropolitan Stadium (home field for the Minnesota Twins and Minnesota Vikings). Located in Minneapolis (Minnesota). A project of Triple Five Group, following the success of West Edmonton Mall. A plaque in the mall's amusement park commemorates the former location of (baseball's) home plate and one seat was placed at the exact location it occupied in the former stadium, commemorating a 520-foot home run struck by Harmon Killebrew in June, 1967.1992
Mark Strand TheatreArguably the first U.S. movie palace.1914
Mars 2112Located in NYC's Times Square District; closed in early 2012.1998
Medieval Times Dinner & TournamentDinner theater featuring jousting and medieval-themed menu. First unit in Orlando, Florida.1983
Meow WolfAn artist's collaborative first organized years before, combines to create this successful curiosity.2016
Mount Thebarton The first facility to create an artificial skiing slope made with real snow, opens in Adelaide, Australia, which happens to have a Mediterranean climate.1987
MystereCirque du Soleil's first Las Vegas show, has its first performance. The show was also Cirque du Soleil's first permanent show.1993
NASCAR Café H&C Racing Inc. initially held the license from these restaurants, eventually selling the license to The Cordish Companies.1996
New York State FairIn the U.S., the nation's first state fair is held in Syracuse, New York.1841
Nick Shop
Nickelodeon PittsburghThe first common format for movie theaters, in storefronts throughout the U.S.1905
Nickelodeon Store
Nomadic VRFirst venue opens at Pointe Orlando, featuring “Arizona Sunshine,” a zombie VR shooter game.2018
Oculus RiftPrototype of this groundbreaking headset, emerges.2010
Official All-Star Sports CafeFirst unit located at Times Square in New York City. Investors included Wayne Gretzky, Joe Montana, Shaquille O'Neal, Ken Griffey, Jr., Andre Agassi, and Monica Seles. 1995
Old Course at St AndrewsThe 18-hole "round of golf" opens for play at St. Andrews.1764
Old Tucson StudiosRobert Shelton leases sets and locations from Pima County, first used in the film Arizona (1940), and the grounds and sets as a working film studio and theme park.1960
Old Tucson Studios - FireDevastating fire at this venerable studio leaves the studio a modest vestige of its formal glory.1995
Pageant of the MastersThe unique live performers features "living stills" - recreations of classical and contemporary artwork.1933
Paintball GunThe first commonly used Paintball gun, the Nelspot 007, invented by James C Hale receives a patent. The gun is intended for use in the forestry industry. Earlier in the 1960's, Charles and Evan Nelson had invented a paint-marking pellet that could be discharged from a firearm, intended for foresters marking trees.1974
Parkway TheatresThe first multiplex theater (cinema) opens in the U.S., a twin multiplex locate at the Ward Parkway Shopping Center in Kansas City (Missouri). Created by Stanley H. Durwood for his Parkway Theatres.

Patented Drive-In Movie TheaterThe first patented drive-in movie theater opens in New Jersey, introduced by Richard Hollingshead. There were precursors to this patented version dating back to the 1910's. 1933
Planet HollywoodFirst Unit1991
PlatformaVROpens first virtual reality venue in Moscow (Russia).2017
Public ZooFirst public zoo opens in France on the grounds of the former Jardin du Roi (Paris).1793
Puy du FouLiving history venue in France featuring spectacular live reenactments (shows), piqued with special effects.1978
Rain Forest CaféFirst unit opens at Mall of America, in Minneapolis1994
Red's Rec RoomLocated at West Edmonton Mall, the 108,000 SF LBE concept was similar in design intent to Dave & Buster's which was introduced in 1982. However, Red's operated with an active concerts schedule and a microbrewery - truly unique. A project of Brunswick Corporation. Red's Rec Room closed in 2006.1996
Robot RestaurantA 90-minute fantastical (wacky perhaps) performance venue with some food items. Located in Tokyo's Shinjuku nightlife district.2012
Ryman AuditoriumThe Grand Ole Opry radio show moves into the Ryman.1943
SafeHouseSpy-themed restaurant opens in Milwaukee,created by founder David J. Baldwin. Purchased by Marcus Corporation in 2015.1966
Sega GameworksFirst unit opens in Seattle.1997
Sega Joypolis1994
SegaWorld LondonThe 6 floor indoor arcade opened at The Trocadero in London.1996
Six Flags Theme ParksFounder Augus Wynne opens Six Flags Over Texas, his first park.1961
Sony MetreonSony's famed San Francisco LBE entrant, featuring I/P of author Maurice Sendak.1999
Southdale CenterSouthdale Center shopping mall opens in Edina, Minnesota, a suburb of Minneapolis-St. Paul. It is the first climate-controlled shopping mall in the U.S.1956
Star Trek Experience Themed attraction opens at the Las Vegas Hilton.1998
Survios VRFirst Survios V/R arcade opens at Del Amo Mall (Torrance, California).2018
Switchback Railway America's first roller coaster opens at Coney Island in Brooklyn, New York.1884
TamaraJohn Krizanc creates the play “Tamara,” based on the meeting between Gabriele d’Annunzio and portrait painter Tamara Lempicka.1981
The ColosseumLocated in Regent's Park, London. 1829
The Loop-the-LoopThe first amusement ride to use an "elliptical loop" opens at Coney Island. The ride was so interesting to view that an observation deck was built specially to observe riders.1901
The MirageSteve Wynn opens his first casino on The Strip in Las Vegas, with The Mirage featuring a lava-spewing volcano. The streetfront entertainment launches a era of themed entertainment in gaming.1989
The Shepherd of the HillsFirst outdoor production opens, based on the novel of the same name (published 1907).1960
The Sword of DamoclesThe first head-mounted VR display is invented by Ivan Sutherland.1968
The VoidFirst unit opens in Pleasant Grove, Utah.2016
The Zone at Glendale GalleriaMall lifestyle shopping district for tweens and teens.2000
Theater Stereophonic SoundFirst upgraded sound in U.S. theaters.1953
Tinsletown StudiosA themed show concept from Jim Garber and Jack Lindquist.1998
Two Bit CircusHybrid out-of-home arcade with featured virtual reality experiences, presented by Brent Bushnell.2018
TyffoniumFirst unit opens in Japan, at Divercity Tokyo.2017
Universal Studios CityWalkFirst imagined as an easy opportunity to catch studio tour and amphitheater visitors once more before reaching the parking lot, the studio earns a moment in LBE history with its first of several CityWalk facilities.1993
Universal Studios HollywoodUniversal Studios opens its famed tram tour, following in the footsteps of Carl Laemmle's chicken ranch days.1964
uWinkA Nolan Bushnell concept, first unit of 5,400 SF opened at Westfield Promenade, in Woodland Hills (California).2006
Vauxhall Pleasure GardenVauxhall opens, will eventually operate through the year, 1859. Initially named New Spring Garden.1661
Vertigo Arcades
Viacom Entertainment StoreFirst Unit opens in Chicago; no other units to follow. The store eventually closes in January, 1999.1997
Virgin MegastoresUltimately closed in 2009, followed by airport stores thereafter. Virgin's first formal store opened on London's Oxford Street.1971
Virtual World EntertainmentVWE billed itself as the “world’s first digital theme park.1994
VirtuaLand at the LuxorAn indoor Sega arcade.1993
Virtuality ArcadesThe first VR machine for arcades.1991
Vitascope HallThe first permanent home for showing movies in the U.S. 1896
Wannado CityAn indoor children's role-playing amusement center, a property of Grupo CIE. Opened at Sawgrass Mills (Sunrise, FL).2004
Warner Bros. Studio StoreUltimately shuttered in 2001. First Unit at Beverly Center in Los Angeles.1991
West Edmonton MallLocated in Edmonton (Alberta), Canada. A project of the Ghermezian brothers who subsequently formed Triple Five Group. At one time the largest shopping mall in the world (until 2004), the mall introduced the concept of shopping plus location-based entertainment.1981
Wildhorse SaloonOwned by Ryman Hospitality Properties (formerly Gaylord Entertainment Co.)1994
Wisconsin DellsFirst indoor waterpark opens.1994
Wisconsin DellsWater Park era
WonderWorksSignature design creates appearance of an upside-down building. Company slogan is "Let Your Imagination Run Wild". 1989
World of Coca-ColaMuseum opens at Underground Atlanta, later moved in 2007 to a 45,000 SF space adjacent to Underground Atlanta.1990
Zero Latency VRTech company that develops free-roam virtual reality systems, opens first venue in North Melbourne, Australia.2015

Location-Based Entertainment - the History and the Players

From the Research unit, SCP Adventure Entertainment Cos. LLC






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