In spite of the Cairasco Teatro being in existence since 1845, now the location of the present day Gabinete Literario (Literary Cabinet), it was clear to the city of Las Palmas by the middle of the 19th century that the construction of a new Teatro was necessary. The main reasons for such a proposal were undeniable faults in the construction of the Teatro, an increase in population and interest as well as it being the wish of the ruling class. The city of Las Palmas requested a more ambitious theatral building which was in accordance with the requirements of the society of that period.
With this aim in mind, a private joint stock company was founded in 1866 which dealt with problems such as economic matters, the site of the future construction of the building and choosing the architect to take charge of the project. The first matter was taken care of by contributions from people and organisations of great economic power, as well as the unselfish collaboration of the remainder of society, by both the wealthy and the humble citizens.
The decision to locate the new Teatro turned out to be more problematic, given that no location could be found which fulfilled all the necessary requirements. Finally the Boca-Barranco or the Pescadería (Fishmonger’s) was suggested, which met the three main conditions: it was centrally situated, the shape and dimensions were suitable, and the location had easy access and visibility. However its juxtaposition to the sea, to the mouth of the ravine and the fishmonger’s caused controversy amongst the citizens. The fact is that witty criticism arose being it captured on sketches and in verse by Benito Pérez Galdós (Who was the stupid patriot? / Who was the vandal patriot? / Who thought of the vaults / of this Aquatic Teatro? …”).
After several formalities and with a certain degree of apprehension by the locals, the architect Francisco Jareño y Alarcon (1818 – 1892), born in Albacete and resident in Madrid, was commissioned to take charge of the works of art for the project. This was to be approved on May 22nd, 1868.
In 1888 and before the impending visit of the famous Italian tenor Roberto Stagno, passing through Gran Canaria on tour with his company on his way to America, the construction works were speeded up so that a recital could be accommodated and funds be raised. However an unfortunate accident occurred in Puerto de La Luz between a French and an Italian tanker causing fifty-five fatalities, precipitating the Tenor’s decision and subsequently the decision of the board of directors to donate all the raised funds to the victims of the tragedy. Thus two years later, in 1890, the solemn inauguration of the Tirso de Molina Teatro takes place with The Traviata, causing the promoters to go bankrupt and culminating in the municipal incumbency of the theatre from 1913.
11 years later on the occasion of the grand success of the première of Electra by Benito Pérez Galdós in 1901, during a solemn tribute a proposal was made to name the New Teatro after the writer.