The theatre was inaugurated under the emperor Hadrian in the year 126 A.D and completed by Caracalla between 200 and 210 A.D. It has a capacity of 10,000 and is located in the western zone of the city in the vicinity of the cardo maximus of the roman city plan (corresponding to the modern-day Via C. Torre.)
The area of the theatre was abandoned during the first Longobard period but later with Arechis it became the centre of agricultural and artisan activity. It was absorbed into the mediaeval quarter of Triggio and became practically illegible. For example the church of St. Maria della Verita (St. Mary of the Truth) was built inside the left part of the cavea, or seating area, in the 17th century and used the theatre building as a sub-were demolishe, parts of the theatre buried underground were brought to light and consolidation work was carried out on the building.