Kevin Bacon Returns to ‘Footloose’ High School Prom 40 Years Later

CBS Photo Archive/Getty Images
CBS Photo Archive/Getty Images

Kevin Bacon cut loose again over the weekend, returning to the high school where he filmed the teen classic Footloose more than 40 years ago.

And it wasn’t just any day that the acclaimed actor popped into Utah’s Payson High—it was prom night.

“Go Lions!” the 65-year-old actor greeted the crowd. “It’s been a long time—40 years—that just blows my mind, you know. Things look a little different around here. I’d say the thing that looks the most different is me.”

The actor’s return was the result of a fruitful student-led campaign to get him back on campus for their school dance, decades after the foot-stomping movie’s release. They spread the hashtag #bacontopayson on social media for months to try and get his attention. “When I first heard about this Bacon to Payson thing, I was like ‘Wow, this is crazy.’ But you were all just tireless,” the actor continued. “I think it’s great to see that kind of commitment to anything.”

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“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 there are behind the movie—you know, standing up to authority sometimes, and to being forgiving to people who are not exactly the same as you, and for standing up for your own freedoms and your right to express yourself, and for having compassion for other people,” he added.

It didn’t hurt that the students planned to support Bacon’s foundation,, as part of their effort to recruit him back to campus. The students pledged to provide 5,000 of the foundation’s intended 40,000 “essential resource kits” for schools as a show of gratitude for Bacon’s special guest appearance at their prom.

“And that’s what all of you have shown here, by turning what could be just a movie star coming back to get a pat on the back, into something really positive. And that’s what we’re going to do today when we build these kits,” Bacon told the students.

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“Thank you so much for your commitment to giving back to your community and to the people you’re sharing this planet with, and I’m thrilled we’re going to be working here together today.”

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