Originally the Alexander Theatre was to serve the local Russian garrison. Construction began in April 1876 and was completed in 1879. After Finland gaining it's independance in 1917, The National Theatre and Opera companies moved to the building in 1918 and the National Opera remained on the premises until 1993, when they moved to the new Opera House on the Töölö bay. For this reason, AlexanderTheatre, the Old Opera House, is an important part of Finnish cultural history. Till this day the Alexander Theatre houses culture from dance to theatre and rents out its spaces for other recreation such as yoga and other culture workshops.