Kevin Bacon returns to 'Footloose' high school in Utah for film's 40th anniversary

The students started a #BaconToPayson campaign to bring the actor to Utah.

April 21, 2024, 4:51 PM

Actor Kevin Bacon traveled to Payson High School this weekend, 40 years after starring in the classic film "Footloose" on the school’s Payson, Utah campus.

Bacon made the trip after students of the school campaigned on social media for months, in hopes of drawing the actor back to the campus that propelled him to massive fame for their "Everybody Cut Footloose" themed prom, according to a representative for Bacon and a press release from his non-profit.

According to the release, a campaign with the hashtag #BaconToPayson began last fall in an effort to see the star reunited with his fictional campus before the actual campus is demolished in renovations.

"Here we are at this beautiful, beautiful spot on this beautiful, beautiful day," Bacon began in a speech to a cheering crowd.

"It’s been a long time, it’s been 40 years...that just blows my mind," he continued.

"You were all just tireless, unrelenting in your desire to have me return," he said. "I think it’s great to see that kind of commitment to anything. I also think that it’s amazing, the power that this movie has had to just kind of bring people together and connect on the basic ideas that are behind the movie."

PHOTO: Kevin Bacon attends the Red Carpet Day 3 during the 26th SCAD Savannah Film Festival on Oct. 23, 2023 in Savannah, Ga.
Kevin Bacon attends the Red Carpet Day 3 during the 26th SCAD Savannah Film Festival on Oct. 23, 2023 in Savannah, Ga.
Dia Dipasupil/Getty Images, FILE

Bacon said some of those themes worth remembering is standing up to authority, and standing up for your right to express yourself.

Bacon made the trip for, his non profit which "supports impactful initiatives to sustain and enrich local communities," according to the website.

In honor of Bacon’s visit, more than 1,000 volunteers "banded together to assemble and distribute 5,000 Essential Resource Kits to young people in need of resources throughout Utah, Colorado and Nevada," according to the release.

Bacon’s efforts at the school also came in partnership with the Utah Film Commission which is celebrating a century of TV and film in the state.

"It's inspiring to see the dedication of these students and the community as a whole. Payson was just as welcoming as my first time here 40 years ago. Their enthusiasm is contagious, and today's event truly showcases what happens when we show up for one another," reflected Bacon in a statement included in the announcement.

"Footloose" hit the big screen 40 years ago, propelling Kevin Bacon to superstardom, and has since become a timeless classic featuring some of the most iconic movie songs and dance scenes.