While I have been to Utah many times, it has been mostly for the Sundance Film Festival, and there is never time to do locations. But this past summer, I decided to spend a few days to deep dive into locations for Halloween 4, Halloween 5, Halloween 6, Silent Night Deadly Night, The Stand, Dumb and Dumber, and of course, Footloose.
I had just turned 14 years old when Footloose was released and thanks to a carefully calculated campaign on MTV, the movie took the nation by storm and propelled Kevin Bacon into a superstar. As you'll see, some locations have barely changed over the years, some are gone, and a few have what feels like an entire city pop up around them.
The move opens with several shots of the Utah mountains and landscape. This first one I could not replicate exactly unless I wanted to go tromping through a field, which I did not. I found this one, as a few others, by lining up the mountains and if there was a house or two that was still standing. This shot is approximately at 5120 West 9600 South in Payson, Utah.
I am pretty proud of finding this one, especially as the stone fence posts are still there! This is approximately at 5334 West 10400 South in Payson, Utah.
The next shot features a house sitting behind railroad tracks. This is located at 11 North 1500 West in Payson.
The next shot was cited on another website, but they actually had the wrong location. This spot is at 825 West Utah Avenue in Payson.
The next shot shows two houses, located at 460 and 452 West Utah Avenue in Payson.
And finally we get to the church, located 75 North 100 East in American Fork, Utah. I did not get any interior shots here, but a bit more about that later.
After the service, we follow the wonderful Dianne Wiest from the side of the church to the front. This was one of Dianne's first major film role and would quickly have a stellar run with many Woody Allen films, but is probably best known for her role in The Lost Boys.
Ren and Ariel have their first meet at this corner of the church.
You may notice that many of the houses and structures in the background are no longer there. The other side of the street, including their house, was completely demolished and replaced with retail stores.
The girls giggle and take off in front of the education building next to the church.
I had a location fail on my visit and didn't get to the spot where the girls cross the train tracks and meet up with Chuck, but will get that next time!
Ariel's crazy stunt is filmed mostly on 12000 South between South 5350 West and Mountain Road in Payson, Utah.
This area is pretty recognizable and is mostly unchanged except for the removal of the train tracks.
This is just a crazy stunt and is a nail biter every time because you know it is all up there, no green screen or special effects here!
The girl gets around!
Quick detour to a shot of the reverend's house, which I mentioned earlier is no longer in existence but was across the street from the church. I also included a shot here from the end of the film of Ren picking up Ariel for the dance.
First day at school! Ren drives up to Payson High School, located at 1050 South Main Street in... Payson, where else?
Ren getting weird looks....
I didn't fare too well with my shots at the gas station, located at 710 South 200 West in Payson, but we'll hit more of this location later.
Ren and Willard are now driving on East 200 South past the intersection at South 100 East (ugh I hate these Utah streets) in Payson.
The camera point of view is in Payson Memorial Park as the cops pull over Ren on East 200 South.
Ren gets grief from the cops...
Back at the high school where Chuck picks up Ariel...
Our first look at the mill, located at 833 East Main Street in Lehi, Utah. You can't tell from this shot, but the area surrounding the mill is completley built up now and kind of ruins the asthetic.
Ariel talks to Ren in this doorway, which is closed in real life, of course, but you can see the Office sign from the film is still there.
Holding out for a hero! The tractor chicken scene was shot on Highlin Canal Road, just east of Goosenest Drive in Payson.
Kids, we had to bring our own music everywhere in the 80's, even in the movies!
Where have all the good men gone and where all the gods? Not much has changed in this area, so I'll just let this scene play out.
Where's the streetwise Hercules to fight the rising odds?
Isn't there a white knight upon a fiery steed?
Late at night I toss and I turn and dream of what I need!
I need a hero! Honestly, how cute is John Laughlin here?
I'm holding out for a hero 'til the end of the night. I should really get a drone to get some of these crane shots, eh?
He's gotta be strong and he's gotta be fast and he's gotta be fresh from the fight!
He's gotta be sure and it's gotta be soon and he's gotta be larger than life!
I'm holding out for a hero til the end of the night!
Thought I forgot about the Hi Spot? Well, unfortunately it's long gone and replaced by an auto parts start, located at 197 North 500 West Street in Provo, Utah.
I did my best to replicate some shots seen later in the film at the Hi Top looking across the street.
Another location that I did not go to was the steel mill, as it no longer exists, but it was located at the U.S. Geneva Works in Orem, Utah.
Here we have Willard riding his motorcycle up West 100 North in Payson, Utah. The building seen directly behind him is now a grocery store and is located at 101 North 100 West.
The car wash is gone, but it was located at the corner of North 100 West and West Utah Avenue in Payson.
The building seen across the street is located at 96 West Utah Avenue.
Another location I did not visit was the Silver Spur Bar as it is barely scene or recognizable in the film. It was located at 210 West Center Street in Provo, Utah.
I actually did find this house on my own, but have since seen it now on another site. It is located at 518 North 100 East in Lehi, Utah.
I looked at several bridges in the area, but none seemed to match up the one seen in the film. I am pretty sure this is the old bridge in Piru, California. It has been used in many films and I wouldn't be surprised if they used this as a quick pick up shots for the film.
Back to the gas station where it seems like the doors are the same. The house across the street is also still standing and recognizable.
Ren's friends to the rescue!
Again, the adorable John Laughlin. How did I not see this before??!!
We interrupt this program for a gratuitous look at John Laughlin's lockerroom shower scene...
Let's hear it for the boy! We are back at Payson High School. The bleachers have been replaced, but they are still in the same spot as seen in the movie.
Let's give the boy a hand! I know you can't tell, but this is the football field at the high school.
Let's hear it for my baby! I love that the circles are still in the parking lot here at the high school.!
Now we are back at the education building next to the church. I didn't get inside the building, but did my best to replicate the shots as they are tracked through the window.
I was able to get a few shots through the window and you can see not much has changed here.
As mentioned earlier, I did not get inside the church, but I did find some photos on their Facebook page and put together some comparison shots. The main stained glass windows has been replaced, but it seems the altar is the same one used in the movie.
Poor Ariel. We are back at Payson High School, but this time we are at the stands across the field from the small bleachers from Ren an Willard's dancing scene. In the movie, the bleachers had another extension of green support beams no longer in existence.
Chuck is a meanie!
Ariel and Chuck go at it big time! The building seen behind them is just about the same as it was decades ago.
Ariel needs a new guy, I think.
Back to the main high school for a quick scene.
We are back at the mill. This small garage structure next to the mill has not changed much since filming.
You can see in these shots the mill has been built out some.
And you can see the area surrounding the mill has drastically changed. (Not for the better, I'd say.)
I did not go the the location used for the book burning scene. They actually used a different school for this scene. It takes place in the courtyard of Springville High School located at 1205 East 900 South in Springville, Utah.
Time to get ready for the dance! (They always throw it together the afternoon before the evening dance in movies, don't they?)
Reverend Shaw and Vi watch the dance from the distance...
Willard and Rusty arrive at the dance.... as does Chuck.
Ren pulls off a bitchin' kick from the platform, knocks Chuck out, and still has energy to dance!