Publish date:

Watch: Movie theater owner takes magic carpet ride at parade in Hendricks, Minnesota

He's plugging showings of Disney's 'Aladdin.'

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."

Sign up: Subscribe to our daily Bring Me The Newsletters

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."

Next Up

Piper Cherokee

UND student killed in plane crash near Minnesota border

The crash happened Monday night just west of the Minnesota border.

fake airpods

Border officials seize hundreds of fake AirPods at International Falls

The AirPods were in a rail container headed for Ranier.

Justin Jefferson, Adam Thielen

With Patrick Peterson injured, Vikings need to unleash the offense

Peterson's absence could have a bigger effect on the opposite side of the ball.

Cam Wiley

Gophers running back Cam Wiley announces plan to transfer

Wiley found himself buried on the depth chart.

sun country

Sun Country adds 7 new routes from MSP Airport this spring

It's also resuming four routes from the Twin Cities.

Walz, Flanagan

Minnesota Governor Tim Walz launches re-election campaign

Their campaign slogan: "One Minnesota. Moving Forward."


Driver dies in single-vehicle crash in Ham Lake

The crash happened around 4:30 p.m. Monday.

Yia Vang - media photo - crop 2

Union Hmong Kitchen will move into Mpls. food hall

Chef Yia Vang said they're "so excited to settle in and have a home."

ISSAboveYou - Duluth North Shore - Oct 18 2021

Watch: Mille Lacs, Duluth captured in stunning video from ISS

The space station provides a vantage point 260 miles above the Earth's surface.


Screen Shot 2021-07-22 at 10.27.35 AM

WWE SummerSlam will be shown live at movie theaters, including 6 in MN

It's the first time the WWE's second biggest pay-per-view has been shown in theaters.

Screen Shot 2021-10-04 at 9.13.40 AM

Deadly MN tornado featured on cover of upcoming movie '13 Minutes'

We talked to the Minnesota storm chaser who witnessed the storm.

Flashy new movie theater will replace the old one at Mall of America

Fancy food and cocktails replaces Milk Duds and pop at the new Mall of America movie theater.

Flashy new movie theater will replace the old one at Mall of America

Fancy food and cocktails replaces Milk Duds and pop at the new Mall of America movie theater.

Disney store

25 Targets to get their own Disney shops in October, 1 in MN

The landmark collaboration between the two companies was announced on Sunday.