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The thrill of 7D

So, moons back when I was young, dumb and broke, I wanted dearly to experience the 3D thrill. IMAX had just landed in Nairobi and everyone was talking about it and how the experience was out of this world.

I finally went and just like everybody else it became a routine. Yes, IMAX can be that addictive. Anyway, Jayne was the friend who first introduced me to IMAX. She’s one of those cool peeps who are always ahead with everything. I think even my first time at Art Caffe’ was with her.

Fortunately, Jayne was blessed with the opportunity go for summer school in Oslo Norway for a few months. We kept in touch and she would share her experiences in Europe.

One day she could barely contain her excitement as she told me about a theme park she had visited. I remember wondering what the fuss was all about? After all, what’s so unique about a park? However, it was no ordinary park. It was a 4D themed park where you would feel everything. For instance, if a part of the park were raining, then actual rain droplets fell on you.

When she finally came back, there was news going around that a 7D cinema had opened up at the Greenspan Mall, but it closed down before I had a chance to check it out. Then Thika Road Mall opened and with it the 7D cinema.

Years later, after the initial buzz had died down, Jayne and I decided to visit the 7D cinema. It had been a long time coming. On a lazy Friday afternoon, we headed to TRM along Thika road, Roysambu area. It’s about half an hour from the CBD. After snacking at Pizza Inn, we headed to the cinema on the second floor. At first, we didn’t find anything exciting about the place. The whole hype had died down.

It wasn’t that busy, the only other patrons being a couple of youngsters who looked like college students leaving the cinema room. We got the tickets for Sh700. I remember my first time at IMAX, where I literally held tight on my seats because of the 3D effect. I tried so hard to keep my cool, as I didn’t want people to judge me. The 7D experience is quite different.

I knew the 7D cinema would be different and bit thrilling. The roller coaster 7D experience takes about fifteen minutes. Inside there are close to thirty seats. So it’s not like an actual cinema where you seat over 200 people. It’s more compact.  Once you are in, you sit down you buckle up. The attendants also give you some glasses.

A couple joined us for the experience, which was to be a horror roller coaster. This involved epic clips from different horror movies. More like extended trailers. I can say that this place was off the swindle. I’d downplayed the experience but I was pleasantly surprised.

It all started with an intro video to let you know what’s going on.  Afterwards, the first screening was from the movie, ‘Texas Chainsaw Massacre’. If you haven’t watched, it is one of the most disturbing movies ever. During the movie, the seats move in sequence with what’s happening in the movie. If there’s a fire, you can feel the heat on your seat too. It’s called the ‘Degree of fr4eedom’, which allows up and down, front and back, left and right movement.

If you have high blood pressure, or are going through stress I wouldn’t recommend this type of experience. Younger children and older folk, shouldn’t watch this either. It’s simply too intense for their fragile hearts. Jayne’s hands were literally up in the air the entire time.  The couple kept on kept screaming. It was noisy and unbelievable.

The roller coaster was too intense for me. I was on edge the whole time. The second screening was from ‘The Conjuring’. I almost flipped.  It was so scary; it felt air in my chest tighten. I had this unspoken trauma and to date have never been the same when watching a horror movie. The couple sat behind us was a complete mess, with the lady crying at some point.

I was just starting to get the hang of it when it ended. Fifteen minutes had just flown by. I was disappointed, but then again I needed to recover from the rush. The staff was friendly and that’s a plus.  This is not something you can do over and over, especially the intense movies, but if you frequent TRM or you find yourself in that vicinity, then by all means, try the 7D cinema for the thrill.

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