Kevin Bacon Visits The Iconic High School Where ‘Footloose’ Was Filmed

Photo: Courtesy of TODAY

Kevin Bacon, the iconic star of the 1984 hit movie Footloose, made a nostalgic trip down memory lane as he recently visited the real high school that served as the backdrop for the film.

On April 20, the 65-year-old actor visited the school in Payson, Utah, where they filmed the movie, marking its 40th anniversary. Bacon was amazed by the number of students who turned out.

A Nostalgic Reunion

Kevin Bacon’s visit to the high school was a heartwarming reunion for the actor and the iconic setting that played a pivotal role in his career.

“It’s amazing. It’s so cool to be back at this school,” he told TODAY during a segment broadcast on April 22.

Bacon also revealed to TODAY that he enrolled at the school when he was 24 to prepare for his role in Footloose. He chose the fitting name, Ren, in homage to his character Ren McCormack from the movie.

He mentioned that he “had the hair” and wore a tie but became apprehensive.

“I lost all of my bravado. I just became, you know, kind of terrified,” he admitted. “And then, just like the movie, one kid sort of took me under his wing and said, ‘I’ll show you around. Come on, you’re with me.’ It was straight out of the movie.”

Kevin Bacon with students from Payson High School.
Kevin Bacon (center) with students from Payson High School. Photo: Courtesy of TODAY

This year, Kevin Bacon plans to make a special appearance at Payson High School’s prom day.

Embracing the Legacy

During his visit, Bacon took the time to interact with students and faculty, sharing anecdotes from his time filming Footloose at the very location where they stood. His presence not only brought a sense of excitement to the school but also allowed the younger generation to connect with the timeless appeal of the movie and its impact on popular culture.

Bacon expressed, “It’s one of those things where it’s changed. Things have been built up a lot. But sort of the essence of it is definitely still here. A young woman said to me, ‘You know, my grandfather was in school here when you were doing the movie.’ Your grandfather?? If going through the 40th anniversary wasn’t enough. I was like, ‘Wow, Okay. Check yourself, buddy.'”


#kevinbacon returned to the #Footloose high school in Payson, Utah and addressed the crowd of students and volunteers that showed up for #bacontopayson @Kevin Bacon

♬ original sound – TODAY Show

RELATED: 6 Differences Between The Original “Footloose” Film & Its 2011 Remake

Bacon even made a special stop at the locker he used while portraying Ren in the beloved 1984 film. The students had decorated the locker with Footloose memorabilia and even presented him with an honorary diploma from the high school.


#kevinbacon paid a visit to his original locker from footloose, which has been decorated and immortalized by the current students of Payson High School. #bacontopayson @Kevin Bacon

♬ original sound – TODAY Show

Additionally, the students displayed their gratitude by assembling 5,000 vital resource kits to aid the community for the philanthropic organization, founded by the actor.

According to SixDegrees, their work centers around “youth empowerment, justice and equality, and improving a sustainable living environment.” They also prioritize “the lived experiences of communities that are commonly underserved and under-resourced.”

To contribute and make a positive difference, visit SixDegree’s official website and get involved!

Inspiring the Next Generation

Bacon’s visit undoubtedly left a lasting impression on the students, inspiring them to embrace the magic of storytelling and the arts.

Bacon revealed his hope that the students would take something meaningful from their exchange.

“I think to be good to each other and to the planet, to have compassion for people that are different than you and give back to your community when you get the opportunity to,” he said.

Bacon’s journey back to the high school where Footloose was filmed not only celebrated the movie’s legacy but also encouraged young individuals to pursue their passions and find inspiration in the timeless narratives that continue to resonate with audiences.

Check out Kevin Bacon’s iconic warehouse dance in the scene below!