The idea of building a theater in Guadalajara was first floated in the 19th century and on the 5th of March, 1855, under the government of Jose Santos Degollado, the first stone was laid. The construction and design was run by the architect Jacobo Galvez. After eleven years of construction, the building was opened with the name of Teatro Alarcon, after the Mexican playwright Juan Ruiz de Alarcón y Mendoza. Subsequently it was decided to rename the theater Teatro Degollado in honor of the main promoter at the time. The building was designed in an ornate neoclassical style, influenced by similar buildings in Italy.