In 1780, a group of Amelia’s nobles and bourgeois gathered to build a new theater, wanting to promote culture in the thriving city. The founding congregation was held on 23 February 1782, presided over by Marquis Orso Orsini, and the first 25 members participated. Sources differ on the direction of the works, attributing it to the architect Giuseppe Mattei of Rome or to Count Stefano Cansacchi of Amelia, also known beyond the borders of the Papal State. It is possible that Cansacchi collaborated with the young Giannantonio Selva, who later created the famous “La Fenice” Theater in Venice.
Over the two centuries of the Theatre’s life, numerous restoration and modernization interventions have been carried out. In 1823, an orchestral pit was opened to accommodate an instrumental ensemble, in accordance with the needs of the new operas. In 1866, six new proscenium boxes were built, bringing the total to 50, distributed over three tiers. During the years between 1880 and 1886, lively Art Nouveau decorations were carried out, including frescoes on the ceiling and in the rest room, the work of the Perugian artist Domenico Bruschi.
The Theater still retains eighteenth-century wooden structures and scenic mechanisms, which are still fully functional. The Ministry of Cultural Heritage has declared the Theater a monument of particular historical and artistic interest. Owned by the Theatrical Society, the Teatro Sociale has hosted the greatest works of the Italian and European opera repertoire, with the participation of renowned performers. Furthermore, the large stage has often been used for film shoots, including 42 famous films and television dramas, such as “The Adventures of Pinocchio” by Luigi Comencini with Nino Manfredi (1972) and “Il Marchese del Grillo” by Mario Monicelli with Alberto Deaf (1981).