Statue of Liberty Stage

The "Liberty" conversion for the Classic Rock-afire Explosion was a project designed especially for the 1986 Independence Day festivities. It's creation was developed to coincide with the Statue of Liberty's 100th anniversary re-dedication ceremony in NY.

The Stage

In order to bring the Statue of Liberty to life, ShowBiz chose to replace Rolfe & Earl and use their stage as a temporary home. The stage itself was actually fairly simple. Behind Lady Liberty was a drapery that had an image of a cloudy sky. This completely covered the rainbow curtain formerly in place on Rolfe's stage. It should be noted that some locations used only a blue sheet to hide the rain curtain, and not the cloudy sky.

Design / Concept Development

It was also decided to give Liberty a few animated movements to enhance her presence, which meant the Rolfe animatronic needed to be retrofitted. To make this happen, ShowBiz hired Creative Presentations Inc. They had a 17 year history of involvement with making animatronic characters and presentations for the theme park industry. Creating the Liberty statue for 170 ShowBiz Pizza Place locations was the largest contract ever in the company's history.

Creative Presentations, along with Jul Kamen ShowBiz's cosmetic support manager developed the prototype Liberty character, which was then mass-produced. The cosmetic and animatronic retrofit that transformed Rolfe into the Statue of Liberty was designed to be simple enough for non-technical workers to accomplish in about 4 hours.

History / Legacy

ShowBiz spent approx $250,000 on the entire promotion, with the hopes that if it were successful, more character swap-outs could occur. This did in fact happen with the introduction of Yogi Bear in a few ShowBiz locations the following year. The Statue of Liberty stage however, did find some repeated use in the years following 1986. It is uncertain when (or if) the Liberty stage was officially retired. The Liberty Showtape was converted to Cyberstar, so it is likely that this 4th of July stage conversion was used until the Rock-afire was removed from ShowBiz via Concept Unification.