#TBT 1980 Grand Hotel News from Mackinac Island

Somewhere in Time

This year marks the 35th Anniversary of the movie Somewhere in Time and the 25th Annual Somewhere in Time Weekend at Grand Hotel. We are looking forward to a great weekend with special guest and actress Jane Seymour!

Below is a 1980 Grand Hotel Newsletter highlighting the filming that took place in 1979. The movie is an adaptation of the book by Richard Matheson, “Bid Time Return.” The film, titled “Somewhere In Time,” is a romantic fantasy starring Christopher Reeve, Jane Seymour, Christopher Plummer, Theresa Wright and a countless number of Mackinac Island workers and residents. Christopher Reeve stars as Richard Collier, a successful young playwright who during a visit to Grand Hotel, falls in love with the portrait of a beautiful young woman, played by Jane Seymour. Collier, obsessed with this woman, learns she was at the hotel in 1912 and travels back in time to have a love affair with her.

Nearly 100 hundred cast and crew members arrived on the Island May 26 and began setting up headquarters at the Inn on Mackinac. Accompanying cast and crew were five huge tractor trailers containing the equipment, props, and power source needed for filming.  Approximately 50% of the movie was filmed inside Grand Hotel or on the hotel’s extensive grounds. Sites used include the Dining Room, Pontiac Room, and of course the famous Front Porch.

Now lets take a step back in time……. (click on images for larger view)

Grand News from Mackinac – Spring 1980 Newsletter – “Lights! Camera! Action!”

Grand News Newpaper Image
Grand News Newpaper Imag
Grand News Newpaper Imag
Somewhere in Time
rehearse in the Grand Hotel Tea Garden
Christoper Reeve and Christopher Plummer rehearse in the Grand Hotel Tea Garden.

car picture in newspaper
On an island without cars it required Grand Hotel and Universal Studios to work with the City of Mackinac Island and local officials on permits to bring a car to the island. A similar process is in place today.
Somewhere in Time Music Box
R.D. Musser, Jr , Chairman of Grand Hotel presents a music box to the producer of the film. These keepsake music boxes are still available for purchase and play the music from the movie.
We look forward to this special  35th Anniversary Celebration this weekend with Jane Seymour!

49 thoughts on “#TBT 1980 Grand Hotel News from Mackinac Island

  1. One day I will get to visit the Grand, I live in lower Michigan and have not had the chance to visit the UP…As I am single now and gifted with extra. I so enjoy all the photo’s and follow all you news…Thank you for sharing.

  2. My daughter, sister in law,and I, had the privilege of spending a couple of nights at the Grand a couple of years ago. Beautiful, food was delicious. We stayed on the floor where the actors of (Some where In Time ) stayed. Would like to go back again. But being nearly 93 years old, I doubt it. But did enjoy it the first time.

  3. My mother Norma Ruth Emboden/Pennington worked as a front desk clerk in the summer of 1956 or 1957 or it could have been 1958. I stayed with my aunt Ernestine in Reed City on the farm while she worked at the Grand. My aunt took my cousins and I up to the island but unfortunately mom had to work but I got to see her and meet the band members and I saw the pool and grounds. My dream is to have a vacation with my husband there for a few days when I go in pension in three years. That was one of the best days of my life. I think I was only about five or six years old.
    I wish someone remembered my mother having worked there or that there was some evidence still of her presence. She said she had a nice room in the hotel.
    I have lived in Italy since 1975.

    • Thank you for the story about your mother working at Grand Hotel. Sounds like it was a very memorable time. Come back to visit us soon.

  4. In view of the tragic turn that Christopher Reeve’s life took, the film “Somewhere in Time” will forever capture the actor’s grace and powerful screen presence. His eyes always seemed to be searching for eternal truths weather he was uttering a line or just staring into Jane Seymour’s beautiful eyes. Fate will always deal out life’s cruelest destinies and never-hoped-for endings. It’s the same fate that allowed you to be born and be swept up by the romantic fantasy of a film that took your heart to places only lovers know exist. The critics savaged the film. Romantics don’t need critics–just more films like this one.

    • I agree Larry! This film is perfect! It’s been my favorite movie since my first time seeing it. I’m a hopeless romantic and would love to see more films with this depth. I’m captivated every time I watch it. There was a chemistry between Jane & Chris that can’t be recreated.

  5. My father introduced me to this film as it was one of his favorites. I will be visiting just of him.

  6. I was four years old and was visiting the grand with my parents when this was being filmed. My brother loved Jane Seymour and ran underneath her body guards legs so he could give her a hug. She was absolutely wonderful! My brother and I got to sit in Jane and Christopher’s director chairs and meet them both. They said my parents could develop the photos they took and return the next day to get them signed and all these years later I still have the photos. I have great memories when I watch this movie and loved hearing about the anniversary. Prices are too high for the package but I hope one day to return and spend a night there, such an amazing hotel and beautiful island!

  7. This movie was an all time favorite of my husband and me. We watched it numerous times and he recommended it to so many to watch if they hadn’t seen it. He has now passed soon to be six years ago, and I would love to spend this special week-end on the beautiful island and in the Grand. Jane Seymour and Christopher Reeve were very special people and did a most splendid job in this movie. Jane is still a very beautiful lady.

  8. I had the thrill of staying at the Grand two years ago and enjoyed every moment of the three nights and four days !!
    I visited every scene from SOMEWHERE IN TIME and was transported to 1912 very easily !
    I will return to fullfill my very last item on my bucket list, I promise !!
    Flyboy Stinson

  9. I have a dream to visit the Grand Hotel at some point in my life. I have loved the show for so long, and can not wait till I can fulfill my dream

  10. My husband and I had our wedding themed after this movie. I dressed like Elise McKenna, and my husband dressed like Richard Collier, I played the music as I walked down the aisle. I have seen this movie at least 150 times and never get tired of it. I would love to visit and stay in this wonderful place, It would be a dream come true. My husband is dying now, he is a heart patient and next year would be our 25th Wedding anniversary. What a great way to celebrate, I don’t know if he will be with me to celebrate our 25th next year on July 31st. 2018 but if he is I would love to come and see this wonderful place. my husband has 17 stients and a pace maker and his doctor has told him that he could leave me just anytime. Please let me know if you have any contest or anything that might could help me get him to this island.

    • Thanks for sharing your story! Follow the Grand Hotel Facebook page or sign-up for our e-club for contests we do from time to time.

  11. I went on a blind date with my soon to be Husband some 36 years ago. The first movie we shared together in his home was “Somewhere In Time”! Needless to say I fell instantly in love, with not only him, but the movie. Soon after I became an avid collector. The Movie, VHS, DVD and the soundtrack CD. The Original Billing Poster is displayed and my autographed Movie Script sits proudly for all to admire. The Books, Bid Time Return, followed shortly thereafter with Somewhere In Time are also out for others to enjoy. My husband replicated the Grand Hotel in full form with the Theme song from the movie encased within as they did in the movie. My house is a very small replica in design of this movie, displaying decor of 1912 in addition to many framed photos from the movie. In 1990 I had the good fortune to personally meet Jane Seymour in Anaheim at a Trade show, she was representing some beauty product, nothing Elise McKenna nor Ms. Seymour would ever need. Elated she was to sign photos and hear of my passion for this movie. Now, my one desire which lies first on my “bucket” list is to VISIT the Grand Hotel. As a Director of Catering and Wedding Specialist the Hotel and Hospitality industry is my passion. I love the Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island and “Somewhere in Time”, I will be there to experience it first hand! Thank you so very much Jane and Christopher (RIP) for this beloved treasure you provided all to enjoy. Pamela

    • Thank you so much for sharing your story! You should join us for Somewhere in Time Weekend! Would love to see you.

  12. Because of the movie “Somewhere in Time” is my dream to visit the Grand Hotel one day soon hopefully.

  13. Ever since the first time I saw this movie I fell in love with every aspect of it. It has been my dream to go to Mackinaw Island to see the Grand Motel and This June 2018 I am having my dream come true. Looking forward to seeing every movie reference I can find and buy a Grand Motel music box.

    • How exciting! We look forward to seeing you in June!

  14. I had so wanted to go to the “Somewhere in Time” weekend in 2015 for my birthday in October. But I could not find a dog sitter. I would like to go this year. Perhaps I would be so lucky to have Ms Jane Seymour come for that weekend. Pray that I can find a dog sitter.

    • We hope you are able to find a dog sitter too Linda!

  15. My favorite movie of all time. I have always wanted to stay at the Grand Hotel. After living in Michigan for 66yrs, my whole life, I finally got to go to the island for the first time. Two years ago my “Girls Week” girlfriends surprised me with the trip. It was wonderful to see . Now I need to stay at that beautiful hotel.

  16. I have my personal Somewhere in Time event, though it did not span as many years. My year was 1965. My Church youth group was staying at a cabin on Burt Lake. My dad was a chaperone. He suggested we take a day trip to Mackinac Island. We had bicycles and I zoomed to the Grand Hotel. Fortunate enough to be able to go inside as a child, I was enamored. I swore I would stay there one day.
    50 years later, that dream came true. My wife and I opened the season with a GREAT package at the Grand. Truly deserving of its name, we could NOT have had a better experience. Saw the carriage “museum” under the Hotel. Extremely beautiful carriages. Not really enough superlatives to describe the Grand Hotel!

  17. Grace, elegance, grandeur. This is the movie “Somewhere in Time” and no other place but the Grand Hotel could be the scenery of such a romantic movie. I’ve been to the Grand Hotel for sightseeing and dinner and it was such a pleasure. My next trip will include the entire “Somewhere in Time” experience. I’ve always been a fan of Christopher Reeve (who resembles a former handsome boyfriend of mine) and this movie captures him just as I want to remember him as an actor. As a lifelong Michigan resident, I am thrilled this was the location for one of my most favorite “tearjerker” films.

    • Thank you for such a lovely review Victoria. Somewhere in Time and Christopher Reeve will forever live in our hearts at Grand Hotel.

  18. My husband and I are true romantics. I met him when I was a senior in high school and he was beginning college. It was love at first sight! We were married in Jan. 1980 and have been very happily married for 38 yrs. (3 kids and now 3 grandkids so far). We’ve watched this movie several times over the years and it always makes me cry (my hubby tears up a bit, too). This week, Thurs. 7/12 we will be arriving and staying at The Grand Hotel until Monday! This is a “dream come true” for both of us. Since he has a medical conference, we were unable to pre-select our rooms for our stay. I’m sure it will be amazing anyway! This evening we rented “Somewhere in Time” and it proved to still bring tears and sobbing as he was taken away, by that darn 1979 penny! We cannot wait to visit! See you soon!!!

    • Grand Hotel was built for the romantics! We look forward to your stay!

  19. Somewhere in Time is one of my favorite movies. I see you have a special weekend on October for the movie anniversary. I want to come so bad. But no matter how I try to get there from Buffalo, flying or trains and buses seem to be against me. Leaving in Sunday or Monday the only flights from Pellston leaves at 6 a.m. There is no way to get off the island and be able to make that flight. There are no other flights during the day. I’ve wanted to come so bad to the Grand Hotel ever since I saw the movie. Driving by myself is not viable. Tell your C if C to arrange better transportation options.

    • Hi Toni, Have you tried arranging a flight with Great Lakes Air based in St. Ignace. They could potentially fly you off island before your scheduled flight. We hope you are able to stay with us for our Somewhere in Time Weekend!

  20. I will stay at the Grand Hotel & the travel back in time to 1912. I will then give that Mr. Robinson a piece of my mind!

  21. A Dream Come True is about to happen for me in another week. I grew up loving the movie Somewhere in Time and even though I grew up traveling to the UP and Drummond Island to visit my grandparents I never knew about Mackinac Island – I just remember the big bridge. It was only in 2009 when I spent a few weeks in the UP helping my mom take care of my ailing father that I learned the connection of my favorite movie, the Island, and the Grand Hotel – WOW – I was so excited to learn I could visit the location and soak in the beautiful surroundings. My father passed in late 2009 and we took my mom to the island to spend some time and remember her visits she had made with my father. She had never toured the Grand Hotel so we took her on the tour and a carriage ride around the island – it was a beautiful Fall day. Now 9 years later I am finally getting the opportunity to spend a night at the hotel and soak in even more of the experience that the Grand Hotel has to offer. This upcoming trip has so many special meanings for me as I continue to celebrate my 50th birthday year – looking forward to making more great memories.

    • Thank you for sharing your wonderful memories Phyllis! We look forward to your stay! Happy 50th!!

  22. I was an extra in that film. Living on the island that summer and working on the film crew was magical. The Grand Hotel is simply grand. It too is magical and a very special place.

  23. This place has been on my bucket list as well. And like the rest of you, I love that movie. There has never been anything like it since. Hopefully, I will make it up there from Texas before too long.

  24. I visited the Grand Hotel several times with my parents, Paul & Gloria Pitzer, and younger sister. We were there when “Somewhere in Time” was filmed and got to meet Jane Seymore and Christopher Plummer. My sister and I got their autographs and sat in “their chairs”. It was always an amazing weekend whenever we stayed at the Grand Hotel, but that weekend was #1 for the memory book!

    • How wonderful Laura! Thank you for sharing! Keepsakes to cherish forever!

  25. My husband and I, like so many others, fell in love with the movie “Somewhere In Time” and have wanted to visit the Grand Hotel and Mackinac Island ever since!! We are visiting in May for the first time and cannot wait!! We have recently celebrated our 40th wedding anniversary and cannot think of a better way to continue our celebration!!! The keepsake we would like more than anything else is the music box of the Grand Hotel playing the beautiful music from the movie!!! Is it for sale in one of the shops in the hotel? See you soon!!!

    • Hi Ruth! Yes, the Somewhere in Time Music box of Grand Hotel is still for sale. It is available for purchase at Mackinac Market. Thank you for the kind words and Happy Anniversary!

  26. I came to work at the Grand Hotel as a chamber maid, in July of 1980. I had just graduated from high school in Oberlin, Oh and went to stay with my brother in Flint to look for a summer job. I answered the add and my boyfriend joined me to go work on Mackinac Island ( We’ve been married 38 yrs now). We took the speed boat from St. Ignace. It was a magical time from the moment we stepped onto the island. We lived and worked there all summer until after the closing in the fall. The island and hotel were so very beautiful and romantic. We took long walks around the island and watched the sunset in the evenings ( right after “turn down” service). I had the privilege to work in the top floor suites across the front of the hotel, so even while working I had the most spectacular view of the lake! We were there for the premiere when the cast came back and I actually met Christopher Reeve ! Needless to say, Somewhere in Time is my favorite movie of all time. I could listen to the beautiful theme music over and over for hours . It was an amazing adventure for a young girl . The hotel and island will live in my heart forever. We haven’t been back since, but hope to return by next year, 40 yrs later.

    • Thank you Gail, such a wonderful story! Mackinac Island and Grand Hotel are just so full of romance, the perfect backdrop for every love story.

  27. Wow, I just heard about the Somewhere In Time weekends. The movie was playing at a special time in my life, being 21 and in love, only to have it end about a year later. The soundtrack brings me right back to the theatre, holding hands with the love of my life. Possibly my favorite movie ever.

  28. This beautifully made, wonderfully directed, and well acted movie is a rare jewel among countless films in the motion picture industry. The masterful musical theme, played throughout this movie, and beautiful classical piece from Rachmaninoff combine with the chemistry between the star actors to create the ability to suspend all disbelief and transport the viewer back in time to their lost love and make it real again. It warmed my heart and soul because it made me once again experience what love really is after I had long forgotten.

  29. My husband & I had the privilege of staying for the “Somewhere In Time” weekend 25 years ago when Christopher Reeves appeared with other cast members. It was a once in a lifetime event we will never forget.

    • How lovely! We hope you can join us again for Somewhere in Time Weekend!

  30. I have never been so excited about something in my life. Staying at the Grand has been on my bucket list forever, but to cross off four items in one weekend, Wahoo!!! (1) staying at the Grand during (2) Somewhere In Time weekend, while (3) dressed in theme and (4) there the same time as Jane Seymore. I can not wait to go back to 1912 for the weekend. One more month to go.

    • Thank you Tina! We are excited for you! looking forward to your arrival for the Annual Somewhere in Time Weekend at Grand Hotel!

  31. I have the Grand Hotel music box, very beautiful. There is no COA with it but it says each one is signed and numbered. Where would I find that number on the Hotel?

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