Built in 1656, at the behest of the Grimani family. Initially dedicated to prose representations, starting from the eighteenth century it also hosted operas and ballets. The first opera, staged in 1710, was the deceived deceiver, with poetry by Macchi and music by Gasparini.
Destroyed by a fire in 1747, it was rebuilt and its destination changed: the operas were diverted to the new San Beneto theater, prose representations and comic operas were destined for San Samuele.
Inaugurated in 1748, it followed the original structure, albeit reduced in size. For the reopening, on the occasion of the Festa della Sensa, Il mondo alla roversa was represented, with music by Galuppi and libretto by Carlo Goldoni. For the occasion, the sets and lighting were described in an anonymous print later taken up by Gabriel Bella in a painting.
Numerous famous personalities who worked at San Samuele: Carlo Goldoni directed it for a few years, from 1737 to 1741, Giacomo Casanova played there and his mother, actress Zanetta Farussi, performed there. The composer Johann Hasse made his debut right here with Dalisa, followed by numerous other performances in which he involved the prima donna Faustina Bordoni and the contralto Marietta Alboni.
The theater lost its prestige at the end of the eighteenth century. Sold by the Grimani in 1770, it was acquired by the impresario Giuseppe Camploy and from this took the name of Teatro Camploy. On his death, the theater was inherited by the Municipality of Verona, it was then acquired by the Municipality of Venice which had it demolished in 1894, to build a school.
In 1899 the Municipality of Venice was invited to participate in the Universal Exposition in Paris, which prepared some illustrative albums relating to the subject of education. The school of San Samuele, together with Gozzi, was chosen to represent the effort of the Administration in the school sector by describing in detail both the didactic and the logistic activity: two-seater desks, desk and blackboard arranged in order to have the best lighting, all new model. The new supply of teaching materials included the metric system, illustrative posters on crafts and animals, model boats and geometric solids.
Not only that: the systems and heating were among the most advanced, including running water, electric bells and toilets.