With the increasing popularity of Domino's-style takeout operations devoid of chairs, tables, and any kind of atmosphere, the pizza parlor appears to be a struggling institution. Back in the day, when you wanted pizza you had the option of going to a sit-down restaurant for it. Often festooned with red and white checkered tablecloths and candles flickering in red glass holders, the pizza parlor's attractions might have included a player piano loaded with ragtime tunes, arcade games, a well-stocked jukebox, silent movies, and of course the opportunity to watch through a window as the chefs made your pie, marveling as they hurled the spinning discs of dough high into the air. More than a restaurant -- it was a parlor, the name suggesting a place to relax and chat and enjoy a leisurely good time.

These types of pizza parlors have largely vanished in the United States. Pizza Hut is the only one that has remained successful, but they are a shadow of their former glory, their wretched product cannot match those wonders wrought by the pizza chefs of auld. Here and there you can find a Shakey's, a Round Table Pizza, a Straw Hat Pizza, though all too often they have fallen into neglect; regional favorites like Mellow Mushroom sometimes thrive, as do Mom and Pop operations like Vinnie Van Go-Go's.

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