Purple Rain-era cardboard Prince sees the Minneapolis sights

Categories: The Purple One

Photo by Tatiana Craine

Earlier this year, Gimme Noise discovered a prime piece of Prince memorabilia on Craigslist. A woman in Apple Valley listed a "RARE Prince/Purple Rain Stand Up" for sale and the timing seemed perfect. Purple Rain's theatrical release celebrates its 30th anniversary this weekend, and this cardboard cutout of Prince Rogers Nelson on his motorcycle dates all the way back.

Its previous owner said she was a massive fan, and fondly recalled working as an extra in both Purple Rain and Graffiti Bridge. But her impending move to Colorado meant paring down her family's belongings, so the Kid needed a new home.

What cardboard Prince got was so much more. After obtaining him, Gimme Noise propped up this lightly creased but viscerally loved recreation of the Purple One at iconic locations in Minneapolis. He is a few inches shorter than the real deal, but not camera shy. Captured by photographer Tatiana Craine, here are some highlights of our journey.

Grain Belt sign on the Hennepin Avenue Bridge (above)
Unlike a real motorcycle, a customized Hondamatic Honda CB400A made out of cardboard is pretty light. During several of our stops, cardboard Prince tried to make a quick getaway, but we managed to convince him to stick around.

Photo by Tatiana Craine

Capri Theater
We ventured to north Minneapolis to stop at the site of Prince's first concerts as a solo artist on January 5 and 6, 1979. The Current did an excellent retrospective on the theater earlier this year.

Photo by Tatiana Craine

Schmitt Music Mural
The real Prince had some press photos taken by Robert Whitman at this downtown spot (88 S. 10th St.) in 1977. We found the perfect graffiti to accompany cardboard Prince.

Photo by Tatiana Craine

Lake Calhoun
No, that ain't Lake Minnetonka either.

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