The Santi Giovanni e Paolo theater was considered, in the seventeenth century, the most beautiful and comfortable of the Venetian theaters. Built by the Grimani family, it played a crucial role in spreading the Opera in Venice.
Commissioned by the Grimani family, the theater was built in 1635 in wood. In 1638, the structure was rebuilt in wood and stone and changed location, moving from Fondamenta Nuove to Calle della Testa.
The theater takes its name from the nearby Basilica of Santi Giovanni e Paolo. Initially built for theatrical performances, it soon hosted the Opera as well. It will be with an Opera that the new theater will be inaugurated in 1639.
In 1654, the architect Carlo Fontana designed and renovated the theater, to adapt it to an opera house.
In the following years, the Grimani family built two more theaters in Venice and, due to competition and the growing economic crisis, it became increasingly difficult to maintain it. Its definitive closure took place in 1715 and was demolished in 1748.