Saturday, January 10, 2009

Capt. Andy's River Towne

This salty fellow here with the banjo is Capt. Andy. The good Capt. was host of the fun there was to be had at Capt. Andy's River Towne. River Towne was a Chuck E. Cheese inspired restaurant in the Putty Hill Shopping Center in Baltimore, MD back in the early part of the 1980's. Now, I've always been a big fan of audio animatronics, but when I was little - getting to see audio animatronics outside of Walt Disney World was just a mind blowing experience. I remember after-school cartoons flooded with commercials for this place but I only have very faint memories of visiting this fun location once. Like Mr. Cheese, Capt. Andy had plenty of video games to play and served pizza with a big ol' audio animatronic filled show. But the big difference with River Towne was the show. The Chuck E. Cheese show (at the time) featured 5 characters standing side by side and only visible from the waist up. At River Towne you dined while watching a show presented on a full scale replica of a turn of the century riverside community.

I've looked for information about this restaurant several times before while cruising the internets. But it wasn't until a couple of nights ago that I found anything at all. I happened across a handful of pictures of the River Towne show while looking through a website devoted to all things Showbiz Pizza Place. (You don't remember Show Biz Pizza Place...? Well, that's another post for another time!) Wish I could tell you a little more about these pictures, but I'm sure at the time I was too excited to see the show to be able to commit any of it to memory.






Good Times!

12 comments:

LAArviso said...

Thank you for this.
I was starting to think I dreamed this place up.
It sure is hard to find anything on this place.

Slavirish said...

There was a Captain Andy's River Towne behind Wheaton Plaza mall in Wheaton, Maryland in the early-mid 1980s. It was the first place I remember seeing a Dragon's Lair arcade gaeme.

Anonymous said...

I remember going to England with my family in 1984 and seeing the same characters at a large theme park there - I couldn't figure out why the were in Baltimore and England!

Rosie said...

Cap'n Andy's character later moved on to Thorpe Park, a theme park in the UK. He's had a fair few homes since his River Towne debut!

More info can be found here:

http://www.memoriesofthorpepark.co.uk/cap'nandy's.html

Eric Scales said...

We had at least one of these in California as well. I think I only visited it once, and when I asked my parents to go back, they didn't seem to know what I was talking about. We went to Chuck E Cheese's more often and show biz pizza a few times also. But cap'n Andy's stuck in my memory as a bit cooler- maybe the theme was more interesting to me since it transported you to another place- the river towne where cap'n Andy lived.

David Wilson said...

This show was designed and built by designers and engineers that left Disney to begin their own company - “Animated Playhouse,” later “AES (Applied Entertainment Systems),” and later “Sequoia.” Bob Gurr (google him) was head of the engineering department. I made the machine and fabrication drawings for the River Towne show in 1983/4 after the fact, since they were all built on the fly in the shop based on Gurr’s rough sketches and isometric drawings. We also designed and built attractions and stage effects for The 1984 Olympics (Los Angeles), Michael Jackson’s Victory Tour, and Universal Studio’s Tour (Conan, 2010, King Kong, etc.) in the mid 80’s.

Norm Phillips said...

I used to work at Captain Andy's in Lakewood California as a teenager. I was the dish washer and the dish washers got to double duty as Captain Andy himself for the kids birthday party's. I really loved working there. It was my first job ever. I was a video game addict at the time. I was able to master Space Ace for free. I was friends with the guy who ran the arcade. And he gave me keys to the games. It was a great first job. Then money became important and they were opening a spoons restaurant near by. And I was hired there for almost double what I was making. Time frame wise I am 47 now. So at 16. It was a while ago.

Anonymous said...

I went there almost every other sunday for a whole year. It was one of the few places my Dad liked since it served beer.

Ruben Chavez said...

There was one in Whittier Ca as well

Mel Sommer said...

This place was also in whittier California. I thought i was losing my mind because none of my family remembers it but me. Thank god it was real lol! I thought it was a memory from a former life. Whew! So glad it really existed.

Unknown said...

I grew up with the one in whittier, california. I'm so happy to have found this picture. It's been so difficult finding anything

jessica magnolia said...

I grew up with the one in whittier, california. I'm so happy to have found this picture. It's been so difficult finding anything

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