Not too many years ago, we would go to watch movies on a mobile big screen, courtesy of the Kenya Film Corporation and Factual Films Ltd.
It would be a big screen mounted on an open ground where we would congregate in hundreds to watch movies, starting at 7.00pm sharp up to 9.00 pm sharp, and translated into Kiswahili.
These open field Cinema shows were, however, not devoid of sideshows and thrills;
One would be lucky if they did not go back home wearing an awful smell because their faces, or clothes, were smacked with rotten eggs that were thrown all over the place during the course of the film-show. Sometimes the shells of the rotten eggs broke in the pockets, the result being that these egg-missile carriers would have a taste of their own medicine.
The thrill of watching Cinema on the big screens rose to a different level after arriving in Nairobi; and thronging Cinema spots like Odeon, Shan, Cameo, Globe, Nairobi, Twentieth Century, Embassy, and other Cinema halls that were spread across Nairobi. They were great romantic opportunities when one was accompanied, and popcorns were chewed left, right and centre as love buddies watched the movies, fingers intertwined, heartbeats banging violently against the chest walls, and minds imagining a rosy future complete with happy kids.
There were even drive-in Cinemas such as Thika Road-Drive-In, Fox-Drive-In and Bellevue-Drive-In where the better financially endowed could watch movies on the big screens from the comfort of their cars.
And then Television came and almost everybody could afford one; film series and soap operas could now be aired in episodes weekly and all would be glued to the sets so as not to miss the episodes; mainly because once missed there was zero chance that it would be aired again ever.
This was quickly followed by Video Cassette Recorder (VCR)s/tapes, Digital Versatile Disc (DVD)s, and later Universal Serial Bus (USB) s, where whole movies could be loaded and watched at the convenience of one’s private aboard.
It is unbelievable that today, one can choose what, where and when to watch movies privately even using mobile phones via outlets such as Viusasa, Netflix, Showmax, among many others.
Kweli tumetoka mbali.