Public Houses appeared in Tbilisi in the early 1900's as a new kind of cultural-educational institution with the job of “Society Teaching Reading and Writing.” A small venue for the Public House was built by voluntary donations and loan, summing up to 17 600 rubles. According to regulation, building the space was prohibited, thus the “Society of Public Soberness” was involved in the project to get it built.
In 1901, “Kvali” magazine published the sensational will of a prominent businessman Constantine Zubalashvili: [#7, 1901 p.23]:
“...Dead Constantine Zubalashvili bequeathed to Tbilisi Public House 100,000 rubles with a condition that it be built in his honor, in the center of town and to be registered as his property.”
Upon reading this statement, the Public House Building Committee saved 17,600 rubles to transfer for building six separate small Public Houses in the town. In 1902 a competition was announced to choose a plan for building Constantine Zubalashvili’s Public House. The competition was won by Moscow Municipal Architect Krichinski. The foundation of the building was laid in the summer of 1902.
The official presentation of the Public House took place on 26 March, 1909. This building consisted of a theatre hall with 630 seats, reading-room for 200 people and a Library-Tea Shop. The house soon became one of the most important cultural centers of Tbilisi.
In 1930, after the successful tours of the Kutaisi theatre in Tbilisi, Kharkov and the Moscow Marjanishvili Theatre relocated to Zubalashvili’s Public House and remain there today.