March 28 in History: Alfred Hitchcock's 'The Birds' Premieres in New York

Birds on a Wire
Birds on a Wire via Phil Roeder on Flickr

Many people's fears were realized on March 28, 1963 with the first showing of Hitchcock's 'The Birds' at the Palace Theater on Broadway.

Based on the novel of the same name, Hitchcock's film became an instant hit, and was noted for its innovative special effects processes and sparse soundtrack.

The New York premiere involved the release of 1,000 homing pigeons, but the event couldn't hold a candle to the London premiere on August 29, 1963, which featured "two flamingos, 50 red cardinals and starlings, and six penguins" and had loudspeakers hidden in the trees to play screeching bird calls as the audience exited the film!

Feeling nostalgic? Get 'The Birds' on DVD from Amazon for as low as $7.50 and see the alternate ending that was sketched out, but never filmed.


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