Kevin Bacon accepts invite to prom at Utah high school where ‘Footloose’ was filmed

Kevin Bacon smiles in in a dark gray suit and black glasses in front of a background with the words "Leave the World Behind"
“The movie [‘Footloose’] and Payson High School was a big part of my life,” Kevin Bacon told the students in his “promposal” acceptance speech.
(Evan Agostini / Invision / Associated Press)

Payson High School asked Kevin Bacon to prom — and he said yes.

The Utah school, which was the primary filming location for Bacon’s breakout flick “Footloose,” is being torn down this spring because of dated infrastructure. The renovation project coincides with the 1984 movie’s 40th anniversary.

Paying tribute to the building and its role in the film, Payson students this year launched the #BaconToPayson campaign in the hopes of bringing the actor to their last prom before the demolition.

Throughout the campaign, students have held a “Footloose” movie night, staged a “Footloose” musical and renamed the annual Mr. Payson pageant “Mr. Bacon.” Even a teacher pitched in, assigning the students in her English class an argumentative essay persuading Bacon to come to Payson High.


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“Basically this whole year has been the ‘Footloose’ year,” Payson High student body president Rubie Raff said Friday on “Today.”

Later in the broadcast, Bacon called in to a school-wide gathering from the Atlanta set of his upcoming horror-action series “The Bondsman.”

“I have been so impressed with everything that’s been going on there with this crazy idea to get me to come back,” Bacon told Payson’s students, who waited with bated breath for an answer to their long-winded “promposal.”

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“So thank you, thank you, and I’m gonna come. I gotta come,” he declared to roaring applause.

Bacon also expressed his gratitude to the student body for incorporating the work of his nonprofit SixDegrees into the campaign, calling their efforts to give back “really inspirational.”

In February, SixDegrees announced it would be celebrating the 40th anniversary of “Footloose” by creating and distributing 40,000 essential-resource kits to communities across the U.S. On the day of its prom next month, Payson plans to pitch in 5,000 kits.


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In a “Today” segment that aired just prior to Bacon’s announcement, Payson’s student council advisor, Jenny Staheli, expressed her pride in the students’ hard work.

“To watch them just take ownership of that and run with it,” she said, “it succeeded beyond my wildest dreams.”

And with Bacon as their guest of honor, the Payson students’ prom is sure to succeed beyond theirs too.

“We’re gonna party really hard, Kevin,” said junior class president Kaleb Dymock, to which Bacon replied, “I’m glad to hear it.”

He then closed with the words of “Footloose” lead character Ren McCormack: “Let’s dance.”