Kevin Bacon Celebrates 'Footloose' 40th Anniversary at Original Film's High School

Kevin Bacon celebrates legacy at Payson High's final prom.

by Nouman Rasool
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Kevin Bacon Celebrates 'Footloose' 40th Anniversary at Original Film's High School
© Dia Dipasupil/Getty Images

Kevin Bacon recently revisited Payson High School in Utah, the nostalgic backdrop for his 1984 hit film, "Footloose," to mark its 40th anniversary. The event coincided with the school's final prom before its relocation and upcoming demolition, transforming the weekend into a memorable celebration.

At 65, Bacon, returning to the halls that catapulted him to fame, engaged with students and fans, signing memorabilia and capturing moments through selfies. Reflecting on the four decades since the movie's release, he expressed astonishment at the passage of time and the changes around him, joking, "The thing that looks the most different is me." This visit was spurred by a vigorous campaign led by the students of Payson High.

Their efforts included flash mobs and a social media initiative, #BaconToPayson, which gained traction and eventually caught the attention of the national "Today show." Impressed by their dedication, Bacon announced his plan to visit, acknowledging their "tireless, unrelenting" spirit.

Footloose's Enduring Impact

During his speech, Bacon highlighted the enduring impact of "Footloose," praising its message of resilience, self-expression, and unity. "It’s amazing the power this movie has had to bring people together," he noted, emphasizing the importance of challenging authority and showing compassion towards others.

The community's connection to the film remains strong, as echoed by Payson High junior Jake Steele and resident Kelli Davis, who shared their personal ties and excitement about the film's legacy in their lives. Adding to the festivities, Bacon's charity, SixDegrees.org, collaborated with local volunteers to distribute "Essential Resource Kits" across Utah, Colorado, and Nevada, benefiting four nonprofit organizations with resources critical for the community's well-being.

As the evening progressed, Payson's principal, Jesse Sorenson, announced plans to preserve Bacon’s iconic locker in the school's new Hall of Fame, commemorating his influence on the school’s culture. The event concluded with Bacon imparting words of kindness and encouragement to the students, urging them to "Be good to each other — and don’t forget to cut loose," a fitting tribute to the film that continues to inspire generations.

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