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Advice needed please


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We are a small 132 seater venue.

We put on 4 or 5 plays a year including a panto.

We also have a lot of visiting theatre groups and musicians (bands, solo etc.)

We often get asked if we have a smoke machine. We currently don't.

We'd like to find a machine that can do smoke, fog and haze, with DMX so that we have a flexible response.

Budget, around £300 - £400.

I doubt that there is one machine that can do it all, but if there is I'd be interested.


Any advice appreciated.

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You're not going to get one machine that covers all the bases, so the best compromise might be to get a hazer. A band will often be happy enough with a hazer, whereas a theatre group who want haze will not think a traditional smoke machine is an acceptable alternative.


We've had great results over the years from the Unique hazers, but they will be beyond your budget. We've also recently added some Chauvet Amhaze models which are a little cheaper but would still be a stretch for you. They do seem to have very good output for their size, and are extremely quiet.


Bear in mind that you could consider adding "contra" charges for equipment, so incoming shows get a little added to their bill for extras like this. For something like a hazer, where there are ongoing consumable costs, it seems quite fair that the people using it shouldn't be subsidised by the people who don't. Price the contra at the right point, and you may be able to offset some of the purchase cost as well.

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First be absolutely sure that fire detection system is compatible with smoke/fog/haze. Ultimately fine wisps of smoke is what it's optimised to detect. You do need an alarm system, you do not need smoke/haze/mist detection if the performance demands it.


Second, are you prepared to afford the right fluids? Even if fluid becomes chargeable at a profitable rate using cheap fluid or the wrong fluid is usually expensive.

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