Shota Rustaveli State Academic Theatre

No. 17, Rustaveli Ave.


The Shota Rustaveli State Academic Theatre was built during the period 1898-1901 for the Artistic Theatre Society. It was named in honour of Shota Rustaveli in 1921. During the 1920 and 1930s, two famous Georgian directors- Kote Marjanishvili and Sandro Akhmeteli-worked in the Rustaveli theatre but it was Sandro Akhmeteliand his performances that brought international recognition to the theatre. Since then, Rustaveli Drama Theatre has never lost its reputation as being one of the most important and successful theatres in Georgia. The creations of Dimitri Aleksidze, Mikheil Tumanishvili, Temur Chkeidze and Robert Sturua are related to Rustaveli theatre,
Rustaveli theatre was built by Russian and Polish architects Korneli Tatishev and Aleksandre Shimkevich. It is a spectacular building, with a multi-style decorated facade and column terrace extending over the pavement to the roadside. The rich interior of the theatre and facade decoration- with ornaments including modelled garlands, capitals and shells, evoke the rococo style.


In 1919, art cafe Kimerioni, founded by famous modernist group of Georgian poets Tsisferi Kantsebi, was one of the major art centers of that time; a meeting place for writers, poets and artist. Cafe Kimerioni was painted by famous artists Sergei Sudeikin, David Kakabadze and Lado Gudiashvili and is one of the best examples of Georgian modernist art. In 1921, after Georgian fell under Soviet governance, Kimerioni was closed. Today, it has been restored and plays the role of the Rustaveli theatre foyer.