by Grace Sydney

"Come back to me."

Somewhere in Time movie

The memory of a whispered plea from an elderly woman haunts young playwright Richard Collier and ultimately leads him to his destiny at Michigan's Grand Hotel, where he finds that the love which had always eluded him in his own lifetime is still waiting to be discovered-- in the past.

Ignored upon its initial theatrical release in 1980, Somewhere In Time, starring Christopher Reeve and Jane Seymour, found a new lease on life in this age of video rental and now has a wide international fanbase of romantics touched by the movie's theme that love is truly timeless.


Those who wish to visit the sites associated with this romantic classic leave their cares, as well as their cars, behind on a fifteen-minute ferry boat excursion to Michigan's own time capsule-- Mackinac Island. As no mode of motorized transportation is allowed, upon your arrival there is nothing to hinder your appreciation of the island's true heartbeat-- the steady clatter of horses hooves from the multitude of surreys which slowly amble through the streets of this idyllic retreat.

Somewhere in Time soundtrack

Even from a distance the historic Grand Hotel's geranium-lined front porch, the world's longest at 660 feet, can be seen, stretching out in a gesture of greeting. Devotees of the movie's charm make an annual pilgimage to this summer haven, which hosts a Somewhere In Time Weekend as each autumn approaches.

Fans dressed in accoutrements which once graced the pages of 1912's fashion Bible, The Delineator, enjoy their own sojourn to a more refined age in a package weekend which includes a large screen viewing of their favorite film, the chance to mingle with cast members (attendees of 2002's event were lucky enough to meet Somewhere In Time's heroine herself, Jane Seymour), and a tour of the varied romantic locales captured on film, such as the gazebo, Arthur's cottage, the Round Island Lighthouse-- the island's former protector which was restored to its former glory in 1995, and a site special to all who have fallen under the movie's spell--the trees, under whose sheltering branches the young lovers have their first encounter.

Known to fans as the "Is it you?" trees, a few fortunate guests on the tour get to perform a reenactment of the movie's most touching moment. The next Somewhere In Time Weekend takes place October 17-19, 2003. Tickets to this always sold-out event are highly coveted, so make your reservations at Grand Hotel well in advance.

Mackinac Island (pronounced "mackinaw") offers a myriad of activities for the romantic at heart. Rendezvous at Wings of Mackinac, a conservatory where exotic butterflies representing the world's beauty float past, their delicate flight as flirtatious as the flutter of a ladies' fan. Rent a bicycle and admire the abundant Victorian architecture in the area, or walk hand-in-hand down main street, where you cannot help but be transformed into a "fudgie," the endearing sobriquet bestowed by the island's permanent residents on the sightseers who succumb to the temptation to nibble on the famous Mackinac Island treat.

As befitting a locale steeped in the romance of the past,antique shops are generously sprinkled throughout the area, decorated with the keepsakes on a gentler age. While browsing through the treasures that once bore witness to a time we can only dream of, you may notice a sepia-toned portrait hanging on the wall. Before you pass it by, look closely at the gaze which peers back at you from behind the glass. Although you may convince yourself that it's only your imagination...just perhaps, like the movie's hero, you too may notice in their eyes a flicker of recognition.


The 14-century manor St. Catherine's Court reflects the grace and elegance of its owner, actress Jane Seymour. The fourteen-acre estate is located only moments away from Bath, and the nine bedroom manor house is available for short stays. A variety of activities are offered, and guests can brush up on their tennis game, take a lesson in water color to capture the beauty of the surroundings, and wind down with a relaxing massage. To find out more about this haven, go to

In the novel Bid Time Return, upon which the movie was based, events unfold at San Diego's Hotel Del Coronado, which was immortalized on the silver screen in the Marilyn Monroe comedy classic "Some Like It Hot."
Beneath the "Is it you?" trees can be found a commemmorative plaque from the International Network of Somewhere In Time Enthusiasts (INSITE), whose members are dedicated to the promotion of this cinematic treasure.

The character of Elise McKenna was inspired by real-life stage actress Maude Adams, a much-loved theatrical performer in her day, who led a reclusive existance in her later years.

The work of Richard Matheson, author of both Bid Time Return as well as the movie's screenplay, is well-respected in the field of science-fiction. Once a writer for The Twilight Zone, he also penned the supernatural romantic drama "What Dreams May Come." Look for Richard Matheson in a cameo appearance in Somewhere In Time-- bumping into actor Christopher Reeve in one scene, his fleeting performance is billed as "astonished man" in the closing credits.

Jane Seymour's twin sons, Johnny and Kristopher Keach, are named after two men dear to the actresses' heart-- legendary singer/songwriter Johnny Cash and her Somewhere In Time co-star, Christopher Reeve.

For more on Mackinac Island, see's article on this getaway.

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