Originally known as the Teatro San Luca, and then as the Teatro Vendramin di San Salvatore, the Teatro Goldoni was founded in 1622, making it the fourth oldest theatre built in Venice. Like the others (such as the older Teatro Tron), it was built by a patrician family, in this case the Vendramin, although unlike the others which presented a steady diet of opera, the main focus here was comedy.
Rebuilt in the 1720s, it's the oldest surviving theatre in the city. Carlo Goldoni, Venice's favourite playwright, made its fortune when he abandoned what is now the Teatro Malibran for this theatre in 1752, just when he was entering his most brilliant period. The relationship endured until Goldoni, jealous of the success of arch-rival Carlo Gozzi, left in a huff in 1761.
It was the first Italian theatre to install gas lighting (1826) and in 1875 it took its current name. Deemed unsafe after the Second World War, the theatre was closed and its Vendramin archives were deposited in the library of the Casa Goldoni. In 1979, it was restored to its former glory and now serves as the principal venue of the Teatro Stabile del Veneto, founded in 1992 and presenting a wide range of drama, musicals, children's performances and much more.
Image by Andreas Praefcke, Creative Commons License