50 years later, 'The Birds' still a big draw for Bodega

  • Tippi Hedren, right, and Veronica Cartwright speak with a group of 25 fans on a VIP tour of the Bodega School House during the B50 Festival celebrating the 50th anniversary of Alfred Hitchcock's film The Birds, in Bodega, Calif., on September 1, 2013. (Alvin Jornada / For The Press Democrat)

It gave the Bodega Bay area celluloid immortality and lent a sinister, terrifying aspect to the usually mundane sight of seagulls and ravens.

Fifty years after it was released, Alfred Hitchcock's "The Birds" still draws flocks of visitors to the coast and the town of Bodega a few miles inland, where a historic school building and church played prominent roles in the movie.

But instead of the cinematic depiction of screaming schoolchildren running from attacking birds, the streets of Bodega on Tuesday will host a parade with nothing more unsettling than lookalikes of Hitchcock and actress Tippi Hedren leading the procession.

B50: Bodega Celebrates Hitchcock's 'The Birds'


The Birds festival, which runs on Labor Day from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., wraps up a weekend of events commemorating the half-century anniversary of the movie.

"What has really been fun for me is that people have been so interested in that film," Hedren, the leading lady, said Friday. "It has a life of its own. It really does."

Hedren spoke by phone as she was being driven from the Sacramento airport to Bodega Bay.

"As time goes on, it gathers a new generation of people," she said of the movie. "They love coming to Bodega Bay to see where the film was filmed and to meet the girl who was in it."

Her appearance at The Tides Wharf location that figured prominently in the thriller movie has become something of an annual ritual for Hedren, who was a stunning model appearing in commercials when she was plucked by Hitchcock for the starring role.

Hedren will meet fans and sign autographs at the entrance to the Tides Wharf restaurant from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. today.

The Tides has had more than one makeover since it was shown in the 1963 movie as a well-known fishermen's hangout on the water.

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