About The Pit

The Pit Gallery is our way of paying homage to The Pit Bar by using the space it once occupied to showcase art from emerging and experimental artists. 

Head over to the Gallery to view our current featured artists work, or Contact Us if you’d like to get involved.

The Pit Bar

The Pit Gallery is intended to embrace the philosophy and all-round cool vibes of its namesake: The Pit Bar. The Pit Bar was the on-site bar at BATS Theatre from 1999 to 2012, and at the time was fondly referred to as Wellington’s smallest bar. It was a space for the arts community to unwind, have a laugh, and be together. Known for quirky decor and a clientele of loose units, the Pit Bar is remembered fondly by many in our community. 

In 2012 the BATS building undertook major earthquake strengthening and renovations. The Pit Bar closed its doors. BATS spent a brief amount of time on Cuba street with a pop-up bar called the Understudy.

The Pit Bar of years gone by. 1999-2012

The Pit Gallery

In 2014 it was time to fly home to Kent Terrace, and the Lumen Bar was born. Lumen is open five nights a week serving as the bar for our theatre patrons. The Pit Gallery physically exists within BATS Theatre and the Lumen Bar. It’s a space dedicated to showcasing emerging visual artists from our community. 

The Pit Gallery is our way of paying homage to The Pit Bar by using the space it once occupied to showcase art that may not typically fit into a theatre space. The Pit Gallery is more than a one-wall visual art gallery, as we regularly host music, poetry, quiz nights and extend the ‘gallery’ into full building installations.

Prints by Eugenie Aran

101 Rants, by Marcus McShane

The online Pit Gallery

Bringing the Pit Gallery online gives us room to further expand on what The Pit Gallery is. It opens up the space to showcase a wider variety of art forms, from artists all over the country. The online Pit Gallery is an experience of bringing us together when we may be physically apart.


The Pit Bar re-imagined

In 2019 BATS was blessed with CNZ's Tautai Oceania Intern Daedae Tekoranga-Waka. During her six months at BATS she was the Project Manager at the pop-up Pit Bar, a revival of a space near and dear to many. The intention was not to host an exact replica but to magnify what once was and create nostalgia. It was a daunting task but she successfully embraced the Pit Bar vibe and hosted a month of back to back live events.

Departure Party in the Pit Bar, 2019

Lola in the Pit Bar, 2019

Daedae Tekoranga-Waka in the Pit Bar, 2019


BATS xoxo