The first recorded performances in Karlovac were held in the 17th century. Everything ranges from the staging of the missionary station of the Jesuits in Zagreb, followed by the visits of the German traveling company, there are some persecution, led by Andrija Ludovik Adamić, for the construction of a theatrical building, which did not result in the completed project, and since 1860 amateur acting in started in Karlovac . Theatrical performances were initially performed in improvised halls (taverns, cafes, inns, home theater), and in 1892 Karlovac got a well-equipped and convenient hall – „Zorin dom“. Then Karlovac became the city with the strongest and artistically highly expressed amateur and semi-professional theater.
In the 1980s Zora’s singing society became an inevitable Karlovac institution that was the bearer of the cultural life of Karlovac. She has organized concerts, theater performances and other cultural events in the city, exactly what Zorin dom does today. Society of such a reputation had to get its space. The solution was found by building a singing temple, almost in the same place where Zorin dom is today. At the initiative of Zora in 1886, it was decided to build a decent home in the city, which would be the cultural and social center of the Karlovac population. The solution was found by constructing a building in 1892, according to the designs of John Carnelutti. The building was built within seven months, thanks to the citizens’ contributions. It was built in the style of non-renaissance architecture, richly indented and shaped facades. Its design is harmoniously blended with the ambience and space of the existing park. During the entire time of its existence the building had and has a distinct educational, cultural and social function in the life of the City and the County.
Since 1945 the gradual professionalization of the ensemble has begun and since 1948 the theater has been operating as a professional – the Karlovac Theater or the National Theater of Karlovac. The theater was partially traveling and covered the areas of Gorski kotar, Banija, Kordun and Lika. After a series of successful performances, the theater is slowly beginning to face financial problems, departure of the prominent actors, and on August 31, 1963. makes a decision about the cessation of the activities of the Karlovac Theater. After that, the main role in the cultural life of the city of Karlovac is taken over by the Drama Studio, founded in 1952.
Today, the City Theater Zorin dom organizes its activities through its own productions, hosting of theater performances, concerts, visual art manifestations and other cultural-artistic activities in order to meet the cultural needs of Karlovac and Karlovac County residents.