Théâtre des Vampires is a theater in Temple du Boulevard in Paris. It was once owned by Renaud, a greedy and corrupt man. As a mortal, Lestat de Lioncourt worked there, first as a cleaner and stagehand, and eventually as an actor. His most famous role was Lelio, the hero of the play The Romance of Lelio and Isabella. Lestat's friend and lover, Nicolas de Lenfent, also worked there as a violinist. Lestat's acting skills and beauty eventually caught the attention of Magnus, an old vampire looking for a worthy mortal to pass on his Dark Gift. Magnus abducted Lestat while he was sleeping, turned him into a vampire, and promptly committed suicide by throwing himself into a fire. He left Lestat everything he owned. After undergoing his transformation, Lestat bought the theater with the money Magnus left behind for him. Lestat went on stage and scared the audience with his supernatural abilities. He then decided to shut up the theater and made his old troupe go to England. The theater reopened again following Lestat's argument with Armand, leader of The Children of Darkness coven, a coven that worshipped Satan as their leader. Armand urged Lestat and Lestat's mother and fledgling Gabrielle de Lioncourt to join the coven, but Lestat refused. The Children of Darkness still followed the old ways in an age of "new evil". The members of the coven became disenchanted with Armand, who felt that the coven was ruined and began burning its members alive.
Only four vampires, Eugenie, Felix, Laurent, and Eleni, escaped death. They offered to become a new coven with Lestat as the leader in order to live among mortals in this age of "new evil". Lestat told them to become acrobats in the theater and left it in possession of Eleni, whom he felt respect for. Nicolas de Lenfent, now a vampire, also joined the theater as a playwright and violinist. Many of his plays involved supernatural creatures such as vampires and werewolves. Nicolas renamed the theater Theatre des Vampires after the performer's true nature. According to Eleni's letters to Lestat, Nicholas wrote brilliant plays and the theater became popular, but eventually Nicholas committed suicide by jumping into a fire. Armand also joined the Theater at Lestat and Gabrielle's advice because he felt loneliness since his own coven abandoned him. He eventually became leader of the coven and introduced killing victims onstage in front of the audience, who were hungry for bloody plays and thought the killing was just highly realistic.
Lestat's American fledglings, Louis de Pointe du Lac and Claudia, happened upon the theater in the late 1800s. Armand saw Louis as a new possibility of integrating into this period of time, and the two formed a relationship. However, Louis would not leave Claudia, so Armand had his coven kill her by exposing her to sunlight. Louis then burned down Theatre des Vampires with Armand's followers still inside as revenge.