The first theatrical performances in Hermoupolis date back in 1826.
Originally a wooden house served the various troupes that visited the island. As the arts culture of Syra flourished an obvious need for a permanent theatre rose. M.K. Salvagos, an individual from Hermoupolis undertook the initiative for its construction.
The Municipal Council accepted in 1861 proposals of citizens and unanimously decided to construct in cooperation and with the help of the Municipality, a theatre and a club in the central square. The construction expense was calculated in 60.000 Drs. The cost caused several negative reactions as the construction of a theatre was partly considered as an unnecessary luxury in a newly established state with more essential needs pending. The theatre was finally founded near the Miaouli Square, in a space that today is known as Io. Vardaka Square. According to the blueprints of the famous architect P.Sampo, who was then working as a municipal architect in Hermoupolis, the construction began in 1862.
In October of 1864 was the opening of "Apollo" theatre. It was considered to be the nicest of all theatres of Middle East at the time (including those of Athens, Smyrna, Istanbul and Alexandria). Four contemporary Italian melodramas were the very first plays that were held in "Apollo" theatre, including Verdi's Traviata. The first time Greek artists will be presented in the theatre of Hermoupolis will be March 1866.
Even though externally the Theatre is not of a rich architectural décor its interior is considered to be a miniature of Teatro alla Scala in Milan.
The last performance held in “Apollo” theatre was in April 1953. Since then, the theatre was abandoned and the building suffered serious deterioration. Its renovation was completed in 2000, based on blueprints of the architect Petros Pikionis, which were approved by the Ministry of Culture under the supervision and contribution of the Technical Services of Hermoupolis Municipality.