Prolific director Herbert Ross of ‘Play It Again, Sam’ fame directed ‘Footloose,’ the 1984 romance drama coming of age mashup packed with a rebel spirit. The narrative chronicles the life of city teenager Ren as he descends on the puritan landscape of a small town where rock music and dancing are banned, hoping to cure the youth of the curse of alcohol.
The narrative is loosely based on the township of Elmore City, Oklahoma, as the community had banned dancing in an attempt to curb the city of alcohol addiction. The film unravels in the small town of Bomont, which seems off the grid, and the tight-knit small-town ambiance gives the tale of Ren an enticing makeover. Fans, you might be surprised to know that Bomont isn’t a real town; it is completely fictional. Now, to the question of where the movie was actually filmed, here’s what we know.
Footloose Filming Locations
‘Footloose’ was filmed entirely in Utah, especially in Utah County. Principal photography took place between May 9, 1983, to January 1984. Ric Waite of ‘Cobra’ and ‘Red Dawn’ fame joined the team as the cinematographer. At the same time, Ron Hobbs, the art director of ‘The Deer Hunter’ and ‘Legal Eagles,’ came on board as the production designer.
The modern-day Utah government features a 20 to 25 percent tax credit on qualified Utah expenditure for productions. Other than the logistical benefit, there are other state filming incentives. Utah offers a range of landscapes, from deserts to salt marshes, to mountains and canyons, all of which are eligible for filming chores. Let us now lead you to the specific locations where the movie was filmed.
Utah County, Utah
Almost all of the movie was filmed in Utah County of Utah. In their sprawling filming tour, the cast and crew visited the serene township of Payson. They took shelter in the Payson High School at 1050 South Main Street in Payson and filmed some sequences on the premise. The car chase sequence was also filmed in Payson, at 12000 South. The gas station featured in the movie is still in Payson, at 710 S UT-198. The opening scenes were also filmed in Payson, at West 400 North. Sudsie’s Car Wash, which was once located at West Utah Avenue & North 100 West, has been demolished.
Other scenes were filmed in the community of American Fork, in north-central Utah County. The picturesque city is situated at the foot of Mount Timpanogos in the Wasatch Range and thirty-two miles southeast of Salt Lake City. The production unit also lensed scenes at approximately 135 East Main Street in the city. The location, which was used as the Reverend’s house in the movie, has been demolished. While in the city, the crew headed to the American Fork Community Presbyterian Church, a nineteenth-century church located at 75 North 100 East in American Fork.
Filming also went underway in Vineyard, Utah, where the crew filmed at a WWII-era steel mill in Vineyard. After a restless service from December 1944 to November 2001, the Geneva Steel mill has been defunct. The production team also visited the city of Provo, famous for its vast fruit orchards, gardens, and trees. The unit filmed scenes in what was back then the Hi-Spot drive-inn. The property at 197 North 500 West in Provo has been demolished and is currently an auto parts store.
The bar scenes were also captured in Provo, at 210 West Center Street, which has been converted into an eatery. Some sequences were lastly filmed in Lehi, especially the final sequences. The penultimate scenes feature the Lehi Roller Mills at 833 East Main Street in Lehi. The book-burning scenes were filmed at Springville High School, a public high school located at 1205 East 900 South in the city of Springville in the Provo-Orem metropolitan area. A few additional shots were taken in Orem.
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