Le Théâtre du Grand-Guignol (ɡʁɑ̃ ɡiɲɔl: "The Theatre of the Great Puppet")—known as the Grand Guignol–was a theatre in the Pigalle district of Paris (7, cité Chaptal). From its opening in 1897 until its closing in 1962, it specialised in naturalistic horror shows. Its name is often used as a general term for graphic, amoral horror entertainment, a genre popular from Elizabethan and Jacobean theatre (for instance Shakespeare's Titus Andronicus, and Webster's The Duchess of Malfi and The White Devil), to today's splatter films.
Le Théâtre du Grand-Guignol was founded in 1897 by Oscar Méténier, who planned it as a space for naturalist performance. With 293 seats, the venue was the smallest in Paris.
A former chapel, the theatre's previous life was evident in the boxes – which looked like confessionals – and in the angels over the orchestra. Although the architecture created frustrating obstacles, the design that was initially a predicament ultimately became beneficia