Kevin Bacon revisits Footloose high school for film's 40th anniversary

25 April 2024, 15:43

Kevin Bacon has returned to the high school where Footloose was filmed 40 years ago.
Kevin Bacon has returned to the high school where Footloose was filmed 40 years ago. Picture: Getty/Alamy

By Thomas Edward

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He's kicked off his Sunday shoes again.

Kevin Bacon has taken a trip down memory lane for a very special anniversary, as Footloose celebrates its 40th birthday.

The beloved 1984 movie about a reckless teen relocating to an uppity, traditional town who doesn't know how to let loose still lives long in the memory.

Especially specific scenes when the lead character Ren McCormack - played by Kevin - struggles to accept his new life and dances in a local factory in a choreographed cry for help. It's iconic stuff.

Moving from the cosmopolitan city of Chicago to a rural town in Utah where music and dancing have been banned by the local Reverend, McCormack convinces the community to embrace living life to its fullest.

Well, the musical drama was also filmed at Payson High School, which fortunately isn't quite as stuffy in real life.

So to celebrate four decades of Footloose, Kevin has returned there thanks to the swell of a social media campaign.

The hashtag #BaconToPayson made its way to the actor, with students from Payson High School re-enacting famous scenes from the film.

Footloose also starred John Lithgow, Chris Penn, Lori Singer, and a young Sarah Jessica Parker, but it was Kevin they desperately wanted back in the school halls.

Well, lo and behold, Bacon went back to the place where his Hollywood career truly kicked off.

Speaking to students for the 40th anniversary of Footloose, Kevin said: "When I first heard about this Bacon to Payson thing, I was like, 'Wow, this is crazy'. But you were all just tireless."

He praised the high school students for "talking [him] into it, later adding that he was flattered by the effort they put in to get him back,

According to CNN, Kevin continued: "[Thank you for] turning what could be just a movie star coming back to get a pat on the back into something really positive."

‘You were all just tireless’: Kevin Bacon praises Payson High students as he returns to ‘Footloose’

The actor - who has also starred in JFK alongside Kevin Costner, She's Having A Baby, A Few Good Men, and Apollo 13 with Tom Hanks was then awarded an honorary diploma.

Taking time out to pose for selfies with a long queue of students, Bacon even paid a visit to Ren's locker from the movie.

Kevin also used the opportunity to raise funds for Six Degrees, the charity he founded to work on youth empowerment, justice and equality, improving sustainable living environments, and enriching local - and often underprivileged - communities.

The initiative of Bacon returning to Payson High School helped provide essentials to families in need of resources throughout Utah, Colorado and Nevada, worth over $865,000.