Bodega hasn't changed much since 'The Birds'

The hamlet of Bodega is part time capsule, part movie set, with an inextricable link between the historic buildings and the movie Alfred Hitchcock made there in the early 1960s.

The 19th century Potter Schoolhouse and Roman Catholic St. Teresa of Avila Church are the two main structures in the movie that stand the same as when "The Birds" was filmed.

"In a way, the filming of the movie saved the schoolhouse. It was scheduled for demolition," said Michael Fahmie, who runs the Bodega Country Store and claims to have the largest collection anywhere of memorabilia from the movie.

B50: Bodega Celebrates Hitchcock's 'The Birds'


Built in 1859, St. Teresa is described as the oldest church in continuous use in Sonoma County. By the time Hitchcock cast his movie, it already had a claim to fame as the subject of an Ansel Adams photograph in 1953.

But it was Hitchcock's "The Birds" that keeps them stopping in Bodega to check out the community of 220 population.

"We get a lot of visitors from all over the world," said Fahmie, who has had recent tourists from Japan, Argentina, Italy, Germany and France.

"It seems the movie is even more popular internationally than with people in the U.S.," he said.

Evelyn Casini remembers how the cast, crew and caterers for the movie took over her Casino bar and grill.

"They actually fed them at my place," she said. "It was quite exciting. Hitchcock was the biggest thing at the time."

She remembers the famous director as aloof and "aware of his importance" with an "I'm bigger than God" ego.

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