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St Cloud’s Quality of Life is an important consideration for new home buyers. Realtors know many factors come into play when looking at a location and what you enjoy about living in that location. Today we are going to show you that you do not need to live in the big city to enjoy excellent theater. One of the reasons buying a home in St Cloud is so attractive is our quality of life and the Paramount improves that quality.

As Minnesota’s 8th largest city, St. Cloud is big enough to provide ample opportunities for employment and entertainment, and small enough to give people the comforts and connections of a genuine community.


  • “Most Livable Community”
  • “Best Blend of Business and Pleasure City”
  • “Most Family Friendly City”
  • “Healthiest Hometown”
  • “Most Exciting Place To Live In Minnesota”

These are just a few of the accolades recognizing the greater quality of life in St. Cloud.

Here in St Cloud we are proud to offer everything from Scuba diving to Granite Cliff jumping. We also have world class gardens along the river and fantastic Frisbee golf courses. St Cloud offers a small town feel with some big city amenities such as the Paramount Theater. We are producing a series of articles on the quality of life in St Cloud because we want you to enjoy it too. Today we share why we love the Paramount and Great Theatre and know you will too.

St Cloud Theater History

The Paramount Theater and Visual Arts Center in downtown St Cloud MN was established in 1921 as the Sherman Theater featuring vaudeville acts, operas, concerts, animal acts, plays, movies and speakers. This is how the grand tradition of entertainment began at the Paramount and it is one of my favorite reasons to love living in St Cloud MN.

The Paramount was and is the finest theater in St Cloud with a capacity of 1700, an ornate lobby and foyer, and an impressive organ complete with orchestra pit. The stage is ample enough to accommodate theatrical sets and up to 30 dancers, while performers enjoy private dressing rooms and (what was in the 20s and has since been updated again) state of the art air conditioning.

St Cloud Quality of Life -The Paramount Arts and Entertainment

The Paramount location in downtown St Cloud is an easy walk to hotels, restaurants and shops. Originally called the Sherman, it was renamed in 1930. The remodel included adding a sound system for the talking pictures and the new marquee.

I first visited the Paramount in the 1960’s and saw several great films, The Sound of Music, several Clint Eastwood movies, and later Star Wars. I liked the old theater. A fire in 1985 did serious damage and renovations began in 1990. More was done in 2005 and the St Cloud Paramount was restored to its highest potential, complete with full wheelchair accessibility.

St Cloud’s Paramount Theater Today

Restored Interior of The Paramount St Cloud MN

Today, the Paramount Theater and Visual Arts Center is central to the quality of life in St Cloud’s art education and development. It offers space for exhibits, teaching, performing and professional development of the arts. The stage is available to local groups as well as professional touring musicians and live stage performances.

The Paramount has featured plays such as “The Love Knot” and “Don’t Hug Me”; musical acts such as Joan Baez, The Oakridge Boys, Alpha Centauri, Laura Caviani, Tonic Sol Fa and Big Head Todd and the Monsters and many many more.



GREAT Theatre at the Paramount Theater

GREAT TheatreThe Great in GREAT Theatre stands for “Great River Educational Arts Theatre.” Established in 1998 this 501c3 non profit is now the largest community Theatre in Central Minnesota.

GREAT has grown a lot since it started. The annual budget began with $22,100 in 1998 to then went to $562,430 in 2008 and as of the most recent report online they are now showing an income of over 1.5 million.  Their audience size has also increased greatly over the same time period going from 2,762 to 47,800 to showing over 66,000 in the 2014 report. Growth like this is a direct result of the excellent quality of their work.

This holiday season Great Theatre will present Elf. The production of Elf is fresh off the heels of Alice in Wonderland and this falls hit Chicago. If you enjoy acting or making scenery there are also opportunities for you to participate. The Great River Educational Arts Theatre is holding auditions for these shows and more.

Children’s Quality of life – GREAT Theatre & Camp

GREAT is a non profit group dedicated to providing children the opportunity to perform in productions and classes. Theatre classes and summer camps are only part of what this wonderful group does for central Minnesota.

It is no wonder that GREAT has grown and seen such wonderful success with our community. They continue to put of fantastic productions for children including such shows as: Peter Pan, Alice in Wonderland, Joseph and the Technicolor Dream Coat, High School Musical, Beauty and the Beast, and Pollyanna.

Over 10,000 children have appeared on stage due to this first rate theatre group. It is no surprise that GREAT is central Minnesota’s leading Youth Arts Educator. We are proud to have such a fantastic non-profit organization in our area. Every year they promote the growth of creativity, imagination and the arts in our children and our community.



Paramount Parking RampParamount Parking Ramp

There is the Paramount Parking Ramp directly behind the theater. It is also walking distance from the Lake George Neighborhood and several of our historic homes too.

The Paramount is a stunningly beautiful theater. It is a real treat for any theater loving person, and if you are in St Cloud it belongs on your must see list of places to go. WE think it greatly enhances our quality of life here in St Cloud.

Be sure to check out our upcoming articles on other reasons why St Cloud enjoys a wonderful quality of life. If you are looking to move to St Cloud or to buy a home here it would be my pleasure to show you why I have made it my home and share more of the features that give St Cloud such a wonderful quality of life.

If you are relocating to central Minnesota check out all the wonderful reasons to love St Cloud. It is a  beautiful area full of things to do and lots of great houses. I would welcome the opportunity to help you find your perfect place here. Browse my website for more information about buying or selling a home, or property in the Central Minnesota real estate market.

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