Kevin Bacon returns to 'Footloose' school 40 years later: 'Things look a little different'

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Kevin Bacon just kicked off his Sunday shoes and returned to high school − the "Footloose" high school, that is.

On Saturday, the "Tremors" and "Mystic River" star visited the Utah school where he shot his movie "Footloose" four decades ago, after students there campaigned to get him to come.

"40 years. That just blows my mind," Bacon, 65, said at Payson High School, according to a video shared on Instagram by the Utah Office of Tourism. "Things look a little different around here. I'd say the thing that looks the most different is me."

Payson High School students had launched a social media campaign using the hashtag #bacontopayson, which called on the actor to visit to commemorate the 1984 movie's 40th anniversary and to mark their last prom before the school is relocated. The students also held benefits to support Bacon's charity,

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Kevin Bacon returned to the high school where he shot his movie u0022Footlooseu0022 following a successful social media campaign.
Kevin Bacon returned to the high school where he shot his movie u0022Footlooseu0022 following a successful social media campaign.

In March, Bacon confirmed to students that he would visit, telling them he has been "so impressed" by their efforts. "The movie, and Payson High School, was a big part of my life, and I've been amazed at the work all of you have been putting into this," he said on the "Today" show, also praising them for working with his foundation to "give back to your community."

During his visit on Saturday, Bacon said that when he heard about the campaign, he thought, "Wow, this is crazy," according to ABC4. But the actor told the "tireless" students that they "talked me into it."

Bacon also said it's "amazing" the power that "Footloose" has had to "bring people together and connect on the basic ideas," including "standing up to authority sometimes, and to being forgiving of 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."

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In his Instagram Stories, Bacon shared a video of himself posing with Payson High School students as he received an honorary diploma. "Let's dance!" the actor and the students shouted as they took a photo together. Another Instagram clip showed Bacon visiting his locker from the movie.

According to, Payson High School students helped build 5,000 essential care kits containing hygiene items, socks, journals, reusable water bottles, shelf-stable goods and vouchers for free counseling, which will be distributed to "young people and families in need of resources throughout Utah, Colorado and Nevada." Per a video of the event posted by the Utah tourism office, Bacon said the students were "turning what could be just a movie star coming back to get (patted) on the back into something really positive."

Contributing: Naledi Ushe

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Kevin Bacon returns to 'Footloose' high school for 40th anniversary