Pleyel was born in Ruppersthal, Austria.
An earlier salle Pleyel seating 300 opened in December 1839 at nº 22 rue Rochechouart; it saw the premieres of many important works, including the second (1868) and fifth (1896) piano concertos by Saint-Saëns, and Ravel's Pavane pour une infante défunte and Jeux d'eau (April 5, 1902) and Sonata for Violin and Cello (April 6, 1922).
A replacement 3,000-seat hall was commissioned in 1927 by piano manufacturer Pleyel et Cie and designed by Gustave Lion. The inauguration concert by the Orchestre de la Société des Concerts du Conservatoire, with Robert Casadesus as soloist and Igor Stravinsky, Maurice Ravel, and Philippe Gaubert as conductors, included music by Wagner, Manuel de Falla, Igor Stravinsky, Paul Dukas, Debussy, and Ravel. A fire ravaged the interior of the hall on 28 June 1928 and the renovation cost made it impossible to repay the loan to Crédit Lyonnais bank, which eventually took over the property and reduced the seats to 2,400. They in turn sold the hall to Hubert Martigny in 1998.
From 2002 to 2006, the hall underwent major renovation. The acoustics of the hall and the public and service areas were improved, and seating decreased from the post-fire 2,400 seats to 1,913.
The Salle Pleyel has been owned by the Cité de la Musique since 2009. Its status as a classical music venue effectively ended in January 2015, when its programming was transferred to the newly-opened Philharmonie de Paris concert hall.
An orchestral concert featuring live performances of music from various Bandai Namco Entertainment-produced video games, such as Dark Souls and Tekken, took place on February 4, 2017. The event was attended by Motoi Sakuraba and Go Shiina, composers of the aforementioned games