Alfred J. Quiroz Collection
Alfred J. Quiroz Collection
The Alfred Quiroz Collection in the LGIRA comes to us from artist Alfred Quiroz, a long-time faculty in the University of Arizona's School of Art. The materials he has donated come from his step-father's Tucson-based coin-op business. Quiroz says:
Mr. Sam Alvarado was the owner of the Alvarado Music Company, an amusement business he started in the mid-50's here in Tucson. He began working for Century Music Company, juke-boxes pin-ball games etc. and then he founded his own business. All of the pool tables and games at the Shanty Bar were his. He was a WW2 veteran, gunner in a B-24 over Germany. After the war, he worked as a welder for Bechtal Oil laying down the first oil pipeline from Kuwait to the Gulf, late 1940's. He was originally from El Paso, TX. He was a very respected business man and probably the only Mexican-American to own an amusement business in Tucson (1953-2011). He was also an airplane pilot who owned a 1939 Stinson SR-9 Gull wing monoplane (5 seater) and I was the one that flew on its maiden flight after it was put together in 1955. We would fly to Phoenix to check out the latest Seeburg juke-boxes and the latest pin-ball games. I of course had access to pin ball machines and used 45 rpm records which I collected by color labels. Whenever he had a new arcade game (1980's) he would call me to bring my two sons over so they could have a whack at it. They would easily make the high scores and then he would adjust the game to make it harder to score. His adage to my sons was 'it's not about the high score, it's about making more quarters..." Naturally they were thrilled and every son's birthday he would bring a juke-box and at least two -three full arcade games for the kids. We would wake up at dawn to hear the ping ping of the games that our early riser sons would be playing. He passed away in 2012. The studio I had, he had provided to me even though he hated my work, and the as long as I was available to assist him in moving pool tables, juke-boxes, arcade games and general maintenance of the building, I didn't pay rent. I inherited the building and sold all of the juke-boxes, arcade games and accoutrements, some of which you have received. Let's just say there was a LOT of STUFF, pin balls pool tables cd juke boxes. We sold 35000+ 45 rpm records. I also had to take care of what was left of his business after he passed. One side note, every summer for the Lute Olsen Basketball Camp, I would help him deliver at least four arcade games with "free play" to the Graham-Greenlee dorm on campus. I should also mention he donated funds to help the re-construction of the El Casino Ballroom. Thet awarded him a plaque which I now own. Well that about covers it. I will send you the "Pac-Man" marquee wrapped in bubble-wrap, It came from an over-used PacMan game, a little scratched here and there. I have attached a picture of him and his Stinson airplane. He was working on a Seeburg juke-box when he passed away, he was 93.
- LGI - University of Arizona
- Alfred J. Quiroz Collection