Name: Discovery Zone Year Made: Unknown
Arcade: Discovery Zone City: Various
State: Various Country: USA
Category: Arcade Token
Search Tags: Al Fong Ron Matsch Donald Flynn Blockbuster Entertainment CEC Entertainment Closed Chain

In October 1989, fitness experts Al Fong and Ron Matsch opened Discovery Zone in Kansas City, Missouri.1 Al Fong wanted to pry children away from TV sets and encourage physical fitness and interaction between kids and parents.6 They sold the business and its 39, company owned, locations to Donald Flynn in July 1992.2 Then in April 1993, Blockbuster Entertainment Group, another company owned by Flynn, purchased a 20 percent stake in Discovery Zone2, 5 Discovery Zone went public with 61 locations in June 1993.1 In December 1993 Enchanted Castle merges with Discovery Zone Inc.3 By 1994 Blockbuster Entertainment Group owned 49.9 percent of Discovery Zone.2 In September 1994 they purchase Leaps & Bounds indoor play facilities from McDonald's Corp.1

Due to expanding so fast without the internal corporate structure to keep up, Discovery Zone did not have a profitable year till 1993. The following year, 1994, Discovery Zone posted a loss of $24.9 million and continued to post losses every following year.2 In 1995 Donald Flynn sold Blockbuster Entertainment Group and Discovery Zone to Viacom.5 Discovery Zone filled for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection on March 25, 1996.1 In 1999 Discovery Zone abruptly closes more than 100 locations and sold some of its assets, including name and logo, to CEC Entertainment Inc., the owners of Chuck E Cheese.4

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  1. Altaner, David. "Discovery Zone Takes Leap Into Chapter 11" Sun Sentinel. March 26, 1996. Web. October 31, 2016.
  2. Bukro, Casey. "Discovery Zone Tumbles From Heights Of Go-go Start" Chicago Tribune. September 29, 1995. Web. October 31, 2016.
  3. Gruber, William. "Enchanted Castle Owner's Discovery: It's Better Solo" Chicago Tribune. February 14, 1996. Web. October 24, 2016.
  4. Stockwell,Jamie. "Discovery Zone Abruptly Closes 100 Centers" The Washington Post. June 26, 1999. Web. October 31, 2016.
  5. Bryson, Emily. "Chicago entrepreneur, founder of LKQ Corp. dies" Chicago Tribune. October 11, 2011. Web. October 31, 2016.
  6. Stroud, Ruth. "Business of Keeping Kids Fit Is Shaping Up..." Los Angeles Times. May 25, 1993. Web. November 1, 2016.


  • August 17, 2018 - Token Posted.


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