March 2013 marks 50th anniversary of ‘The Birds’
Original article from Sonoma West March 6, 2013 by Laura McCutcheonMovie screenings in this month; festival in September
The 50th Anniversary of Alfred Hitchcock’s 1963 suspense horror film “The Birds” will not go unnoticed by those in the coastal towns with bragging rights.
Both Bodega Bay and Bodega, where much of the filming was done, are holding events commemorating the movie — based on a book by Daphne du Maurier — about a small town that is suddenly and unexplainably overtaken by violent birds that attack people.
Because March marks the month of the release of the film five decades ago, the Bodega Bay Area Chamber of Commerce will host three screenings of the infamous film on March 23. Show times are slated for noon, 3:30 and 7 p.m., at the Bodega Bay Grange. Tickets are $10 for adults, $5 for children 12 and under. Concessions and souvenirs will also be sold.
Movie memorabilia will be displayed on loan from the Bodega Country Store’s collection. Dan Sneed, local homeowner and Hitchcock enthusiast will be introducing each screening and answering questions, according to Bodega Bay Area Chamber of Commerce President Sissy Blanchard.
“This is the first time and we hope to do it again. The event we are planning is just the screening of the movie. Each showing will be preceded by a speaker who will talk about Hitchcock, the making of the films, etc.,” she said, noting the conversation will be geared more toward Hitchcock himself, than just his Bird’s movie.
“What we are trying to do is create a fundraiser so that people have an interest in coming. Eventually we would like to, every March on the release of the anniversary of “The Birds,” turn this into a Hitchcock film festival with multiple films. This year we are doing just “The Birds,” next year maybe two movies,” Blanchard said.
Proceeds from the movie screenings will be donated to the arts programs of Bodega Bay School, Tomales Elementary School, and Pastures Preschool.
For more information and ticket sales, visit bodegabayca.org/birdsscreening
.Bodega B50 Festival
A separate Bird’s event, unassociated with the Bodega Bay Chambers’ movie screening, will be held in Bodega, but not until September, when the only remaining original Bodega film locations — the historic Potter Schoolhouse and St. Teresa of Avila Church will both be available.
The Birds 50th Anniversary Festival B50, a Celebration of Hitchcock and Bodega, will be held from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Sept. 2.
“The B50 Festival has a little something for everyone. For Hitchcock enthusiasts, this will be a rare opportunity to tour the inside of the Potter Schoolhouse and St. Teresa of Avila Church, and get an autograph from Tippi Hedren (in Bodega Bay),” Event Manager Dan Arendt said, referring to the starring actress in two of Hitchcock’s best known films: “The Birds,” and “Marnie.”
Children will have the opportunity to hang out in a non-horror Kids Area with special games, storytelling, singing, and face painting, and history buffs can take a docent-led walking tour of Calvary Cemetery, St. Theresa of Avila’s Church, the Potter Schoolhouse and a stroll down “Sonoma history” lane during the celebration of Bodega, referred to by Arendt as “a hidden-gem many visitors pass by on their way to the beaches in Bodega Bay.”
Festivalgoers will also have the opportunity to view a large collection of Hitchcock memorabilia, watch a parade of Tippi Hedren and Alfred Hitchcock look-alikes, accompanied by a marching band, and stay for the local restaurant tastings. In addition, the festival will include free entertainment, contests, tours, local merchants with a variety of handcrafted wares and memorabilia from “The Birds,” a horse and buggy ride and special activities for children, according to Arendt.
The filming of “The Birds” has been a source of intrigue in Bodega since 1961 when filming began, according to locals.
“We love talking to visitors from all over the world who ask about the filming of “The Birds,” said Bodega Country Store owner and B50 Festival sponsor Mike Fahime. “People have been asking what the town will be doing to commemorate the 50th anniversary of The Birds, so we decided to do something fun,” said Fahmie, who has been an avid collector of all things Hitchcock and “The Birds,” and has a large display of memorabilia, which can be seen at the store and a new, adjacent boutique museum called “Birdland” in Bodega.
A kick-off event for diehard fans will take place Sept. 1, also in Bodega. A limited number of tickets will be available for the evening which includes tours of the Potter School House, St. Teresa of Avila Church, a gourmet dinner at Casino Bar and Grill, special movie clips showing deleted scenes and the making of the movie, plus an opportunity to interact with special guests. Tickets will be on sale starting March 15, via the BodegaBirds.com
B50 is currently inviting partners, including sponsors, merchants and local restaurants, as well as volunteers to help make the event a success. For more information, go to www.BodegaBirds.com
, e-mail Arendt at firstname.lastname@example.org
or call him at 861-0326.
All proceeds from B50 and the Kick-Off event will go to the Rancho Bodega Historical Society and the Bodega Land Trust, two non-profit organizations that strive to preserve the history and open space of the Bodega area