Elegant and simple, this Romanesque-style theater opened in 1884 as Teatro Irijoa and changed its name to Teatro Martí in 1900. Because of its location in Habana Vieja and its great acoustics, it achieved great popularity. In 1902, the theater hosted the heated debates over the Platt Amendment, having served as meeting place for several sessions of the National Assembly in charge of drafting the first Magna Carta of the Republic of Cuba.
Many Cuban zarzuelas (musical comedies that preceded cabarets) premiered here and it became home to “teatro bufo”–satirical plays, many of which often mocked the Spanish authorities.
After several decades in dereliction, it has recently been extensively and painstakingly renovated, and technologically brought up to date by the City Historian’s Office. It reopened in 2014.