The year was 1983 and King Kong was set for a comeback. To celebrate the 50th anniversary of the big ape picture, Robert Keith & Company of San Diego created a ten-story inflatable Kong. The balloon weighed 3,000 pounds and stood 84 feet tall.
That means he was 30 feet taller than Kong was in the film.
The much hyped stunt was designed to promote an RCA video disc. RCA video disc's were the main rivals to the LaserDisk format. This format was also known as SelectaVision. It wasn't that successful, but it did produce the "first movie distributed for home viewing systems in the widescreen format.
That flick was a 1973 Italian picture called Amarcord and featured a scene where a woman killed a teenage boy by smothering him with her large boobs.
Sadly, that release was not as hyped as King Kong. It would have been fascinating to see a giant pair of boobs hanging over New York City.
Anyway, the giant King Kong balloon was going to be displayed from April 7-15 1983. In fact, they had talked about keeping it up longer if possible.
So on April 7th, six workers tried to inflate Kong.
They tried again and again but could not get things to work out.
On April 9th the workers spent a windy and rainy evening trying to inflate him but a gust of wind made a 4 foot tear across his neck. So, they tied him to to the building and called it a night.
On the 10th they worked on repairing him and finally got King Kong up and inflated by April 13th.
He did look cool, but the whole thing had become a bit of an embarrassing joke at this point.
Still, he was up and inflated, the SelectaVision video disc was selling like... uh... a popular SelectaVision title usually sold.
Plus visitors to the Empire State Building were able to view a selection of memorabilia from the film.
Finally, things were going well for King Kong.
The next day, April 14th another 100 mph gust of wind tore a FIFTEEN FOOT hole in Kong. He flapped around like a garbage bag for two days and then they took him down.
In the end, King Kong was on the building AND inflated for just ONE day.