Cathie Anderson

Insights into the people who shape Sacramento’s business landscape

Cathie Anderson: Loomis resident brings the party with whiz-bang technology

06/16/2014 5:53 PM

06/16/2014 5:54 PM

A funny thing happened when competition moved in on GameTruck franchisee Allan Katzen. He got more customers.

The Loomis resident bought his GameTruck back in 2010. He’d heard about it on talk-radio’s “ Kim Komando Show,” in which America’s self-proclaimed digital goddess had boasted that she had just thrown the best birthday party ever for her son. After doing some research, Katzen found himself intrigued by the concept.

“We pull up in front of their house, and for two hours, we entertain their kids,” he said. “There are over 70 video games in the truck, and we customize the games to meet the age requirements at the party ... . Inside the truck, I have four large-screen TVs, each with an Xbox 360, a Wii console and a couple of PlayStation 3s.”

There was only one problem back in 2010: Unlike the technology-forward Komando, few people in the Sacramento region understood what GameTruck was. Then competition moved into the region, and Katzen found that he was spending a lot less time explaining what he did. The competitors helped to educate people, he said. This year, Katzen said, his GameTruck is having its best year ever with bookings at birthday parties, church events, school events, and summer camps.

Things are going so well that Katzen felt the time was right to expand. He introduced Photo Graffiti Wall at a June 7 grand opening party for the Whitney Peak Hotel in Reno, and people lined up to try it.

“This is a 10-foot-by-7-foot-high reverse projector screen. It’s like going to the movies,” Katzen said. “You take a picture of the guest ... . It immediately goes to the screen. They can draw on it with a can that looks like a spray can but is actually an infrared light. They can write messages on it or use our stencils. When they’re done, it prints out a 4-by-6 (inch) color photo, and there’s a banner at the bottom for advertising.”

Once again on the leading edge, Katzen anticipates it will take a while to educate the region. Learn more at


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