This elegant square is named Theater Square because three of the surrounding buildings are theaters and several others are located nearby. Until the 19th century this was Petrovskaya Square, since Petrovka Street traversed it and the Royal Peter Theater sat on the site of the Bolshoi Theater. Briefly, it was known as Tsvetochnaya (Florist) Square, because the flower sellers did a roaring trade here.
The modern name appeared in the 1820s when the architect Osip Bove (1784-1834) buried the Neglinnaya River, and built the Bolshoi and Maly Theaters. Since 1919 it was known as Sverdlov Square after the first chairman of the Central Committee; recently the old name has been revived. During the 1930s modernization of Moscow, Teatralni Proyezd was constructed and divided the area into two sections.