31 – When going to the drive-in, please be careful of the lions

Drive-in - kongwa2london.comNext to Nairobi National Park on the road to Mombasa is a drive-in cinema. It has a large concrete screen in front of which were rows of cars on slight humps that fanned out. In between the cars were posts with speakers that were slung on the car door windows. In the centre was a blockhouse with a projection room, some seats, a snack bar and toilets.

On some occasions wild animals would wander amongst the cars. It was quite disturbing to see a couple of lions strolling by, but this added a bit of realism if you were watching ‘Tarzan of the Jungle’, and there was no need for 3D glasses. However, you had to be careful that you were not on the menu when returning to your car from the snack bar.

One drawback was during the Monsoon season the windscreen wipers had to be on all the time, (they didn’t always work) and the rain drowned out the sound of the speakers. The speakers could be crackly, temperamental and the viewer would need to lipread.

At the end of the movie there was the usual scramble for the exit and at this point the car horn would inevitably get stuck. This provoked a cacophony of noise from the other drivers as our siren could not be switched off and continued for the duration of our journey home.

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