The Globe was significant in the past because it was part of the English Renaissance, a time when theater and the arts flourished. It was also the place where many of Shakespeare's plays saw their premieres. Shakespeare himself owned a share in the Globe Theatre.
While the Globe Theatre was not the first playhouse in London, it was one of the early theaters built there. Prior to the late sixteenth century, actors performed plays in inns, college halls, and private homes. In 1576, the Theatre was the first playhouse constructed in London built specifically for drama exhibition. The Globe was built later, up and running by 1599. It stayed in operation (though it had to be rebuilt in 1613 after a fire burned it down) until it was demolished in 1644 by the new Puritan administration, which ordered all theaters closed down.
In the present, the reconstructed Globe has even greater cultural significance. It is a symbol of England's artistic heritage, primarily Shakespeare's plays, which were often performed in the original Globe. Today, the Globe puts on not only Shakespeare's great works but also other dramatic works. It operates as a major tourist attraction, drawing theater lovers from all over the world.