The Grand-Guignol was located in the Pigalle district of Paris at 20 bis, rue Chaptal, just blocks away from where the famous Moulin Rouge stands today. But unlike the bright colors associated with that burlesque establishment and Paris’ “red-light” district as a whole, Le Théâtre du Grand-Guignol was a dark and gothic location throughout its time. To even have arrived, one must have walked down a long, often foggy, and dimly lit cobblestone alley. Keep in mind, this is in the midst of the most crime ridden area of Paris. As such, the sense of dread, unease, and foreboding in an audience member would grow significantly before even setting sight on The Grand-Guignol itself. And what a sight it was to behold. Its building was ominous, painted darkly with accents of black painted wood. Some say it loomed over its surrounding buildings at the end of the long path, with its gothic exterior acting as a grave reminder of the building's original purpose.
For you see, the theater was also a long-since desanctified church. And much like a graveyard with all of its crosses and religious iconography being twisted into something profane and insidious after dark, the same holds true for the theater itself. Upon entry, Impish angels with purportedly devilish smiles would look down upon the audience. Boxes for the audience in the rear of the theater drew similarities to those of confessionals with further ornate woodwork and iron meshes tying them to the rest of the neo-gothic experience. Even the seats were much like those of pews.
All of this- in conjunction with only having 294 seats (reportedly the smallest theater in Paris at the time of its founding) led to an intimate atmosphere which only further intensified the horrors which took place on stage.
The exterior of the theatre at day