RIP: ManRay owner and ‘driving force’ Don Holland has died

Photo Credit: Luke Reidy Photography, via ManRay

Sad news to pass along as Don Holland, the owner and “driving force” of resurrected Cambridge nightclub ManRay, has died.

The word was reealed via social media by Holland’s daughter, Cheryl, late Sunday (June 18) night: “Friends and family, it is with a very heavy heart that I’m announcing the passing of my father, Donald Holland.”

No other details are known at this time. The venue shared the family’s message earlier this morning, adding: “We are devastated by the passing of Donald Holland, ManRay’s owner and driving force. Rest In Peace”.

The iconic Central Square nightspot re-opened in January after nearly two decades of dormancy, shifting from its original location at the corner of Brookline and Green streets to its new space across Massachusetts Avenue on Prospect Street. The original location became a legendary and central hub for goth subculture and underground nightlife from 1983 to 2005. In late 2021, local writer Shawn Driscoll penned a well-received book on its storied legacy, titled We Are But Your Children: An Oral History of the Nightclub ManRay. 

The ManRay re-launch has been an immediate success, and it is currently home to a spectrum of recurring parties and events. Though the venue is usually closed on Sundays, news of Holland’s death came as many of its core crowd was assembled together for The Cure’s concert Sunday night at XFinity Center in Mansfield.

“To the man who not only provided a safe haven for so many of us, but who also had the drive and heart to bring it back to us after so long,” writes ManRay video guru Mike Fulham. “RIP Donald Holland. Your legacy will be felt in this community for years to come and we thank you.”

We’ll relay more information as it becomes available.