There was an unbelievable sight in southwest Minnesota this weekend as a local movie theater owner took a magic carpet ride along the streets of Hendricks.
Plugging the Red Barn Theater's showing of Disney's live-action version of Aladdin, Jay Nelson donned a turban and Prince Ali-like getup to float down the town's main street on a hastily-constructed "magic" carpet.
He was hoisted by a forklift operated by fellow Red Barn Theater operator Ron Rybinski, wowing crowds at the town's annual Summerfest parade.
The float was designed by Rybinski with help from the theater's third owner, Gary Johnson, with Nelson telling BMTN that it was a last-minute idea, created two hours before the parade began and costing just $20 to construct.
A potential health and safety nightmare, the float wasn't even tested beforehand and didn't have any safety precautions for Nelson, who was hoisted up to 30 feet into the air along the 1.5 mile-long parade route.
It comes as the Hendricks theater played Aladdin, starring Will Smith as The Genie, this weekend.
"Since the float was an obvious tie-in to the movie, the Red Barn was supposed to get prior approval from Disney," Nelson told BMTN.
"We failed to do so and hope Disney doesn't find out about this.
"Disney doesn't approve all requests, evidenced by the Red Barn failing to get approval for having live monkeys run around the theater lobby before the Disney film Monkey Kingdom."
The Red Barn Theater was the creation of Nelson, Rybinski and Johnson, who revived the former Lake Theater (which closed in 1972) for their town of just 679 people, claiming to make Hendricks the smallest town in Minnesota with its own movie theater.
For a small theater it has a big impact, given it has more than 4,000 followers on Facebook, with the theater having built a fanbase thanks to its wacky pre-show videos and competitions, such as offering "Modesty Ponchos" for guests who are too good-looking.
"The theater focuses on customer experience," Nelson said. "The goal was to give area folks the best two hours of their week, and we're not afraid to rewrite the rules to make sure that happens."