Niš is one of the first cities to enter the history of Serbian theatre. The first known theatrical event was recorded in 1883 on a poster for one of the productions of the travelling company, which was performed on the ocassion of the marriage anniversary of King Milan and Queen Natalija Obrenović.

By merging the theatre companies of D. Jovanović and M. Dimić at the beginning of 1887, Sinđelić Theatre was founded. The inaugural production was Serbian Hajduks[1] by J. Sterija Popović on 11th of March, 1887 at Knez Mihajlo Inn.

Sinđelić Theatre was founded at the initiative of Stevan Sremac – a professor from Niš, Milorad Petrović– a teacher, Stevan Nikšić–Lala, Heinrich Liller and Špira Klarik. Mihajlo Dimić was the first manager. The following plays were performed: The Taming of the Shrew, The Misanthrope, Two Pennies, and The Hoax.

In the period between 1890 and 1900, Sinđelić Theatre entered the second stage of development at the time of great conflicts of political parties in the last decade of the rule of Obrenović Dynasty. The productions were performed at Europe Inn. In 1892 the theatre was closed. In 1893, Sinđelić Theater in Niš was finally founded. At that time, Niš had become the third biggest Serbian metropolis.

Although it was constantly talked about the need to construct a theatre building, Sinđelić still gave performances at inns: Europe, The Crown, garden Macedonia, Paris; later on at the so-called Green Gymnasium, and Boulevard. In 1906, the Russian Tzar was built. After a two-year absence, Niš got the theatre again under the management of Kosta Delini (1904-1912).

In 1915, it was shut down. Between 1921 and 1929 it barely survived as an improvised theatre. The efforts of Branislav Nušić and the Association of Actors led to the merger of companies “Sinđelić” and “Gundulić” in 1921. The new theatre was named Privileged City Theatre. In 1922, at the meeting of the Niš Municipality and at the suggestion of Dragiša Cvetković, the land was allocated for the construction of a theatre building. In the period between 1929 and 1930, the theatre was known as Morava Banovina Theatre. There were 400 seats at The Craft House.

In 1931, the theatre opened a season in Niš with the production of a play „The Death of the Mother of the Jugović“. For seven years the theatre operated in the Craft House. In 1936 a production was transmitted via the Belgrade radio for the first time– it was the second act of Stevan Sremac’s play „Zona Zamfirova“ by Sima Bunić.

On January 1st, 1939, in a newly-built building at Sinđelić Square, the first theatre production “The Building of Ravanica” or “The Endowment of Emperor Lazar” directed by Dragoslav Kandić was performed. The theatre had 687 seats. The first major renovation of the theatre building took place in 1968; the second in 1986; and the third in 2002/2003.

[1] Serbian gherrilla fighters