Up until the liberation of 1913, professional theater in the city consisted solely of visits by European and Athenian touring companies, though there was notable amateur activity among the Greek and Jewish communities. The short-lived Thessaloniki State Theater, founded in haste during the Second World War to offset Bulgarian propaganda, survived thanks to a special tax on cinema tickets.
With L. Koukoulas as manager, Y. Vakalos as set designer, K. Mihailidis as director and Manos Katrakis as leading actor, the theater opened with a play called "Trisevyeni" by the well-known poet Kostis Palamas.
Renamed the Popular Theater of Thessaloniki and supported by funds from a charity drive, it finally closed in 1944 with "Rigas Velestinlis" by Vassilis Rotas. Since 1960, apart from the State Theater of Northern Greece, other important efforts include the Theater Workshop, Roula Pateraki's company and the Experimental Theater at "Techni".