Source: Sherman Publications

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NEOHS invites public to travel ‘Somewhere in Time’

by CJ Carnacchio

May 15, 2013

Clinton Township resident Lynn Anderson, a charter member of the International Network of "Somewhere in Time" Enthusiasts poses with the film’s stars Christopher Reeve (left) and Jane Seymour (right).
The Northeast Oakland Historical Society (NEOHS) is hoping to transport folks back in time with a special guest speaker at its annual spring meeting set for 7 p.m. Tuesday, May 21 at the Oxford Public Library.

Clinton Township resident Lynn Anderson, who's a charter member of the International Network of "Somewhere in Time" Enthusiasts (INSITE), will be speaking about the 1980 movie starring Christopher Reeve and Jane Seymour.

"The movie speaks to me," Anderson said. "I was one of the few that did see it in the theater back in 1980. It only played for three weeks in theaters, so very few people saw it there."

Since then, she's watched the movie "hundreds" of times.

Filmed at the Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island during the summer of 1979, the romantic science fiction film tells the story of Richard Collier (portrayed by Reeve), a playwright who becomes infatuated with an old photograph of a young woman. Through self-hypnosis, he travels back in time to 1912 where he falls in love with a famous stage actress named Elise McKenna, played by Seymour, who's the woman in the photograph.

Anderson's May 21 presentation for the NEOHS meeting will consist of her sharing rare behind-the-scenes stories and anecdotes about the movie's cast and crew. She will also display her personal collection of props and memorabilia from the film.

"I have a replica of the music box that was shown in the movie as well as a poster autographed by all the cast and crew," she said. "I also have a prop that was hanging on the wall in Christopher Reeve's character's apartment in the movie – one of the programs from the play that his character, Richard Collier, had written."

"I've got some rare behind-the-scenes photographs of the making of the film that I'm going to be showing," she added.

The public is invited to attend Anderson's program. Admission is free and refreshments will be served.

"I think everyone who comes to this presentation will absolutely enjoy it, especiallyif they already love the film," she said. "It will give them a new appreciation of the making of it."

Thirty-three years after the film's release, Anderson is still so passionate about the film because she was moved by its theme of "destiny" and finding that "one true love."

"There is that one person out there for you," she said.

Anderson loves the movie's setting, the Edwardian era, which she sees as a "simpler time."

"The Edwardian era in 1912 was, to me, a much easier time to live in than the complicated times that we have today," she said. "It was an escape. When I went to that movie, it swept me away. I felt like I had escaped to 1912 for a couple of hours."

Anderson noted when she came home from seeing the movie in 1980, she was in "such a fog that my mother thought I was doing drugs and actually gave me a brochure to a drug rehab place."

"I finally dragged her to the theater to see the movie and she understood why I was in such a fog," she said.

Anderson joined INSITE in May 1990, the month after its founding by a man named Bill Shepard.

"Basically, in a nutshell, it's a fan club for a movie," Anderson said. "It is an enthusiast organization bound together by a quarterly newsletter."

With more than 1,000 members worldwide, INSITE consists of like-minded individuals who believe in "destiny" and "one true love."

"We all long for a better world to live in – an easier, more peaceful world to live in," Anderson said. "Together, we celebrate the film and (the year) 1912."

Her involvement in INSITE allowed Anderson to become "very good friends" with Seymour along with Reeve and his wife, Dana, who died in 2004 and 2006, respectively.

Every year, for the past 22 years, INSITE has held a "Somewhere in Time" Cast and Crew Reunion at the Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island.

"This October will be our 23rd consecutive year," she said. "All the cast and crew feel very strongly about this film – that it was one of the best things they had ever done."

Fans from all over the world – Japan, Russia, the Philippines, Belgium, England – come to this reunion.

"It's just amazing to see how this film is beloved by millions globally," said Anderson, who noted that Reeve once told her he had been stopped on the street on more occasions for "Somewhere in Time" than for "all the Superman movies combined."

Reeve is known for playing the Man of Steel on the big screen from 1978-87.

Anderson loves attending the reunion and immersing herself in the movie's era as a way to "escape the pressures of today" along with "the violent, chaotic world that we live in."

"I believe that it has helped add years to my life – that ability to get away, even for a weekend at a time," she said.

The movie's distributor (Universal Pictures), director and producers have all, according to Anderson, "acknowledged that without (INSITE's) constant presence," the film "wouldn't have the recognition that it deserved."

"We were instrumental in getting the film re-released (for its 20th anniversary)," she said. "We're instrumental in keeping the film alive and keeping it going. I think we're the reason there's going to be a "Somewhere in Time" musical premiering in Portland, Oregon in two weeks."

Everyone who attends Anderson's May 21 program will get to enjoy a special video preview of some vocal performances from the new musical.

"If this does become as successful as we hope it will be, it will be in New York City (on Broadway) within the next six months," she said. "We're really hoping to see it there."