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Moline’s Spotlight Theatre debuts Friday with free revue featuring cast of 50

MOLINE -

A pipe organ from the past is becoming a big part of the present.

"You walk in here, and you're just blown away," said Sara Tubbs, who is opening The Spotlight Theatre with her husband, Brent Tubbs, on Friday, May 4.

The talented couple will host a free Open House on Friday evening.  Doors open at 6 p.m., with a cast of 50 set to entertain at 7 in the refurbished showplace.

It's a 90-year-old landmark,  formerly known as the Scottish Rite Cathedral, on 1800 7th Avenue in Moline.  New owners Blake Humphrey and Adam Bain will also showcase new opportunities in the building.

On Thursday, Brent Tubbs was busy lighting the unusual venue.

"The biggest part was just deciding to do it," he said.

High above the stage, an antique pulley system remains in place. It still transports scenery down to the stage.

The project blends tradition and technology.  There's an updated lighting system and other surprises.

"We just hope to be a beacon for people to come and enjoy being in this building," said Sara.

Downstairs, the Tubbs' three kids, Cooper, Taylor and Parker were helping out by stuffing programs.  It's really a family affair.

They're planning productions, summer camps, even wedding receptions downstairs.

"We've seen it every step of the way," said Brent.  "We've put so much work and heart into it."

The theater features more than 600 seats, vintage stained glass windows and the bones of a beautiful design that dates back to 1928.

"Once you walk in here, you fall in love with it," Sara said.

As Kyle Schneider practices on the pipe organ, it's the guide to a bright future.

"Somebody's going to do this, so it better be us," Sara concluded.