Below are definitions and explanations of commonly ordered materials from our rental warehouse. If you cannot find what you are looking for, we are always available to help - just give us a call or email! 




Many people call and ask us for a Spotlight. The term “Spotlight can have a few different meanings.  

An Ellipsoidal Reflector Spotlight is a stationary lighting fixture that produces a hard edge beam, and is often used to project gobos. Our ERS fixtures are always provided with a C-clamp for mounting, a safety cable, a stage pin connector, a color frame and a spare lamp. ERS fixtures come in conventional tungsten or LED, so let us know which one you would prefer.  

A Followspot is a fixture on a stand that is meant to be manoeuvred by an operator to follow a performer on stage. A followspot is typically placed in the back of the audience area or in a catwalk and has plenty of space around it for the operator.  We have several options for followspots, for small and large venues. Give us a call and we can help you determine the right followspot for your needs.  

A Searchlight is something else entirely. These are the lights you see that shine up into the air to attract attention for red carpet events and other special occasions.  Grand Stage does not provide these types of fixtures, but we know folks who do! Give us a call and we can give you a referral.  


LED Lighting 


Grand Stage offers several kinds of LED Lighting for every budget. We can provide a full show package, augment an existing plot, or provide special effects. Talk to us about your show, and your design goals. We can help you put together a rental package that will fit your needs and budget.  


If you want to add LED lighting to your space, but aren’t sure where to begin, a rental package is a good way to experiment with new lights at a low cost. If you have a light plot and know how you would like your fixtures addressed, let us know. We are happy to pre-address and label fixtures before they leave the shop.  


LED Uplighters can be pre-set at the shop before pickup. Specify which color you would like your fixtures set to. We are happy to help, and this will help ease load in. All LED Fixtures are set to the simplest mode available for Rentals. If you know how you would like your fixtures set, please specify which mode you prefer when placing your rental order.  




A simple and common way of accentuating a room for a special event is with Uplighting. Uplighting is created by placing an LED PAR or a specially designed light fixture on the floor against a wall and aimed straight up. The resulting light washes the wall and reflects off the ceiling to give the entire room a unique color and atmosphere.  

We recommend using one light every six to eight feet. More lighting will create a more even wash. We have several LED lights that are used for uplighting. Call us for a quote and recommendations for your event.  



Wedding Monogram and Logo Lighting 


Many events will use a Custom Gobo to project a logo, a monogram or other design onto walls or dance floors. A Gobo is a thin piece of metal or plastic placed in the focal point of a Ellipsoidal Reflector Spotlight. It will project onto any surface you aim it at. Many times, a client will have their gobo design in hand when they call. If you need help in creating a custom image, we can provide resources for you. 


A Custom Gobo can come in a few different types and typically takes three to four business days to arrive.  


Steel Gobo: Used in a Conventional Fixture using a Tungsten Lamp. The least expensive option, but does have limitations on the detail of design. Always ask for a proof to ensure you are getting the look you want. Think of Steel Gobos as stencils for light, meaning too many layers of design will impede manufacturing. 


Glass Gobo: Can be used in a Conventional or LED Fixture. Offers a greater degree of detail but can become increasingly expensive as more colors are used. Call for a quote, time to ship, and recommendations on usage.  


Plastic Gobo: A newcomer to Gobos, a Plastic Gobo is for use Exclusively in LED fixtures. Using a Plastic Gobo in a conventional fixture will destroy the gobo immediately. A Plastic Gobo offers a full color design at the price of a steel gobo. Call us for a quote and availability. 




You’ve spent all this money on floral décor, why leave it in the dark? PinSpots are an easy way to add highlights to décor. Our battery operated pinspots have a magnetic base, and are easily focused onto any point you wish to highlight; cakes, gift tables, and flowers. Call us for a quote and availability. 




Special Effects - Low Lying Fog 

The most common way to generate a low lying fog effect is with a machine that uses Dry Ice and hot water. Dry Ice is safe to use in well ventilated areas and when used with common sense.  

Dry Ice needs to be purchased separately, and it is advisable to purchase dry ice on the day you intend to use it. We have a list of local vendors for dry ice on hand. If you need to store dry ice for any length of time, we advise sealing it in a plastic bag, and keeping it in a dedicated cooler.  

We have two Dry ice fog units available; the Ultratec Dry Icer and the City Theatrical Aquafog.

The Dry Icer is the smaller unit and is designed for smaller spaces. It holds five gallons of water and requires one dedicated twenty amp circuit. You will need to fill the unit with water to the fill line marked on the inside, plug it in and allow it two to three hours to reach temperature.  An indicator light on the side will let you know when it is ready to go. Place the dry ice into the basket, and lower it into the water. Close the lid, as the reaction can create splashes of hot water. The effect will last for approximately five to ten minutes before the vapour evaporates into the surrounding air.  

The Aquafog is the larger of the two. It holds approximately twenty gallons of water, and requires two dedicated twenty amp circuits. Once the unit is filled with water, it is difficult to move, so we advise placing it first and then filling it up. The Aquafog will take several hours to reach temperature, so be sure to get it started heating well before showtime.  


Special Effects – Fog and Haze 


A Fog Machine uses a pump, a heating element and a mixture of food grade glycol and water to produce a thick, white fog that will rise and fill up a room quickly. This type of machine is used to simulate smoke or give a spooky atmosphere. 

A Haze Machine uses a similar mechanism, but instead produces a finer and subtler effect. This machine is usually used on dance and music performances to allow the audience to see the lighting effects better.  

Grand Stage has several varieties of Foggers and Hazers for rent. Talk to us about what your needs are and we can help you choose the right fogger or hazer.  

All our foggers and hazers are supplied with enough fluid for a typical weekend’s usage. Additional fluid must be purchased at an additional cost.  


Special Effects – Snow Machines 

A Snow Machine uses a food grade chemical blown through fabric to produce small, fluffy pieces of foam that resemble snow. The resulting foam will dissipate on the floor below, and evaporate off of hair and clothing.  When using a snow machine, be aware of the surfaces and floors underneath them, they can become slippery if the snow machine is left on for an extended period of time.  

Snow Machines are not provided with fluid. Snow Fluid is sold with the machine for an additional charge. Typically one gallon of snow fluid is enough for one week of use, but is dependent on how often the machine is used.  

Snow Machines are booked early for the holiday season, so be sure to make your reservation as soon as possible! 


Special Effects - Confetti 

Grand Stage rents the Ultratec Pro Launcher and the CITC ShotMax. 

The Pro Launcher project Pro Fetti or Pro Streamers up to 30 feet. The consumables that are required to operate this machine are threaded CO2 Cartridges that are available in 8, 16, 25 and 38 gram sizes, 2” Lifting Cup as well as a 2” Back Pressure Cap. We will need to know how many times you plan to fire your effect, so we can assemble the right amount of expendables for you.   

For each shot of confetti, you will need one lifting cup, one back cap, a third of a pound of confetti and one CO2 cartridge. We advise purchasing at least one extra round of expendables, so you may practice loading and firing the unit prior to the show.  

Confetti comes in a variety of colors, and is stacked into rectangles or comes loose in a bag. Streamers are also sold in various colors and mixed colors. Grand Stage does stock a wide variety of colors, but always call in advance to be sure we have your color in stock. If not, we can order it so you can pick it up with your rental.  

As always, if you need assistance in learning how to load and use your confetti cannon, just ask us.  

The ShotMax is different in that it will continuously launch confetti as fast as you can load it. We recommend using loose confetti for this machine, and in large quantity! The ShotMax will throw confetti 25’ vertically, and 35’ horizontally, and will also work with artificial snow.  

Unfortunately, Chicago and Cook County expressly forbid the use of open flame and pyrotechnic effects on stage. There are no exceptions to this rule. When in doubt, leave it out. 



Floors - Decking/Staging 

Grand Stage offers staging platforms in 4’ x 8’ sections.  We do have some quantity of 4’ x 4’ sections. 

Our traditional aluminum decks are available for Dry Rental, and our new Hex Decks require delivery, setup, strike and recovery by a Grand Stage Crew.  

All our decks require a $200 Deposit which is refunded to you once we get the decks back in good condition. Any damages to the decks will be deducted from this deposit. 

If you are picking up stage decks from our Knox Avenue location, please bring an empty Cargo Van or Box truck. Our crew will assist loading, but please have people who are capable of lifting on pickup and return.  

If you are having stage decks delivered, please review your rental contract carefully. There will be important details regarding delivery dates and times. Please have a crew on site during these times to assist our driver with loading and unloading the decks. If you need our crew to provide loading and unloading, additional labor charges will be applied.  

If you are having a Grand Stage Crew set up and strike your stage decks, please review your contract carefully for days and times our crew is scheduled to be there. Please ensure someone is on site to allow access to the space and provide that person’s phone number so they can call when they arrive.  


Floors - Dance Floor 

Grand Stage offers rolls of Vinyl “Marley” Dance floor for rent in black. Our dance floor is meant for ballet, modern, jazz and other “soft shoe” dance styles.  

When calling to reserve dance floor, be sure and know the size of the area you are looking to cover in length and width. Vinyl dance floor tape to secure the edges of the rolls is available at an additional cost.  

Dance floors are frequently booked during the Holiday and spring recital season, so make your reservation as far in advance as possible to ensure availability. 

All Dance Floor requires a $200 deposit, which is refunded once the floor is returned in good condition. Damages to the floor will be deducted from your deposit.  


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