Bringing Back The Old Hollywood on Mackinac Island, Michigan

October 8, 2010

Next week marks the 30th Anniversary of the opening of Somewhere in Time, the 20th Anniversary of the founding of the Fan Club for Somewhere in Time, and the 19th Annual Somewhere in Time celebration weekend that occurs every October at the magnificent Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island, Michigan, where the film was shot.

The Grand Hotel has graciously invited us to the celebration and also to premiere my book at this wonderful weekend….so Lauren, four of our kids, and I are heading to Mackinac Island next week for the “premiere” of Bringing Back The Old Hollywood.

Producing Somewhere in Time (which was my first film as a producer) at the Grand Hotel and on Mackinac Island in the summer of 1979 was a magical experience that I will never forget.

Mackinac Island rests at the very northern tip of Michigan, just south of the Canadian border. Motorized vehicles are not allowed on the island so horse-drawn taxis and bicycles are the only means of transportation.

The centerpiece of the island is the Grand Hotel, one of the most extraordinary resorts in the world. Built in the 1880s, The Grand has the longest porch in the world and also defines the grace and serenity that we so often now relate to a bygone era. The Grand, however, has continued to modernize itself while also retaining its elegance.

Somewhere in Time would not have been the film it turned out to be if we had shot it anywhere else in the world. And the only reason we were lucky enough to shoot the film there was one man: Dan Musser, the owner of The Grand.

Mr. Musser worked literal miracles for us as we shot the film at the height of the summer tourist season in the summer of 1979. Somehow, he shut down parts of his hotel at just the right moments so we could film both the current day and 1912 sequences. He also made it possible for us to get a couple of trucks on the island to get our equipment around. How he managed that with the City Council I’ll never know!

Dan Musser himself embodies the grace and elegance of his magnificent hotel. I am thrilled and honored to be able to premiere Bringing Back The Old Hollywood at The Grand….and, hopefully, to see my old friend Dan Musser once again.

(Tomorrow: more on the Somewhere in Time weekend and its wonderful Fan Club.)

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Mark Carter May 27, 2011 at 11:58 am

I worked as an extra on that movie and had the best summer of my life,Period. I worked the whole summer on the Island. The cast,including the stars were great to all of us. I own the movie on disc and watch it every year. I hope to attend a reunion this year. Thanks to all for letting me be a part of the filming and giving me memories that I will always carry with me.

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Stephen Simon May 27, 2011 at 1:11 pm

That was one of the great summers of my life too!

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