If Chuck E. Cheese disappears, so does a bit of San Jose history.

It seems that one of my favorite places in San José will live to bite another day.

I’m talking about the 30 foot statue of Chuck E. Cheese that stands in one of three glass-walled niches at the pizza chain location on Tully Road. Created in the early 1980s by the sculptor Jeff TritelHighway 101 drivers can see the foam and fiberglass rodent, as big a monument to pizza and commerce as the one west of Chicago.

He was a little worried about his fate this week when the Texas-based parent company of Chuck E. Cheese announced that he would file for bankruptcy due to losses from the coronavirus pandemic. But CEC Entertainment says its reorganization should not mean the closure, or continued closure, of its hundreds of restaurants across the country, including several in the Bay Area.

Do not misunderstand. My fondness for Chuck E. Cheese has little to do with their pizza or the noisy games that keep kids pushing buttons like the demons of slot machines in Las Vegas. Even animatronic and anthropomorphic animals, including Mr. Cheese himself, would not entertain the guests (and have since been removed in favor of live costumed artists).

It’s because Chuck E. Cheese’s Pizza Time Theater started in San José in 1977, founded by the co-founder of Atari and the inventor of Pong. Nolan Bushnell, who, according to the story, wanted to create a familiar place where children could play. The original Pizza Time Theater was on South Winchester Boulevard (Santana Row now occupies the site), but it wasn’t long before the Bushnell concept became widespread and colorful pizzerias began popping up everywhere, introducing families to characters like Jasper T. Jowls, Mr. Munch and Pasqually the chef.

In a valley full of inventions, Chuck E. Cheese, along with Togo sandwiches and Eggo waffles, is a rare San Jose original that was captured across the country. The signature character has evolved over the years, transforming from a gangster-themed rat rat to a slimmer mouse on the go, and swapping his cigar and bowler hat for sports gear.

The Chuck E. Cheese statue appeared after the restaurant moved into the old Magic Village home, a toy store that I vividly remember from my childhood that had giant toy soldiers in all three niches. (They also survived and are now on display at the Children’s Museum in Stockton.) The statue has been repainted to match the company’s current color scheme, and it still has her hat on (but not a cigar), so I imagine it will. will still be present after this latest financial drama passes.

After all, it is not even the first bankruptcy. That happened in 1984 and led to Bushnell’s departure from the company.

Speaking of Bushnell, it’s in one of my favorite stories about Chuck E. Cheese. David E. Early, a retired writer and editor for Mercury News, wrote in 2015 about his disturbing experience finding one Confederate flag among several on an automated screen, as well as mini versions of the flag for sale. Some time later, he met Bushnell on a mission and enlightened him on the subject. Bushnell listened, and when Early took her children to the pizza place the following week, the flags were gone.

INFUSION OF ART IN THE CENTER: The provocative and poignant murals that have sprouted on the walled windows and walls around downtown San José since the Black Lives Matter protests began have been a welcome addition to the urban landscape.

And another is the Downtown Doors student art program, which is installing 10 new pieces in doors and utility boxes downtown, creating a street gallery of 302 student artworks in 17 years. The Fundación San Jose Downtown program received almost 100 presentations in January and February, and selected pieces will be exhibited at the Hammer Theater Center, Il Fornaio and Westin Sainte Claire, the Fairmont San Jose, 50 West and Studio Climbing Gym.

“Downtown Doors offers young artists the opportunity to express themselves publicly,” he said. Ramona Snyder, chairman of the SJDF board. “Students of all ethnicities and demographic groups have been posting their messages of change and hope at the center for 16 years.”

SAVE THE STREAMERS: When the San José Rose, White and Blue Parade, traditionally held on July 4, had to be canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic, organizers were optimistic that they could host the 13th annual Labor Day event in September. But conditions haven’t changed enough to make anyone think it’s a possibility, so the parade was officially canceled until 2021.

Instead, revelers are invited to participate in an online celebration at Facebook.com/RoseWhiteBlueParade by sending photos or video greetings for the holidays. Find out more at rwbsj.org/parade-participation.

FUND FAREWELL: Park Place Vintage, the Willow Glen store where you could find a 1950s dress or the perfect aloha shirt, closed its doors last weekend after 38 years, another commercial victim of taking refuge in place. It was a great place to shop for vintage clothing and other gifts or just to spend some time while browsing Lincoln Avenue.

Owner Linda Ruiz announced it would close in May and had a couple of extraordinary sales weekends to empty the 3,000-square-foot space. “I’m not going to stop being Park Place Vintage,” Ruiz said on Facebook, “I’m going to do it differently.”