Friday, April 19, 2024

The nightclub ManRay opened Saturday at 40 Prospect St., Central Square, relocated after a gap of more than 17 years – it closed across the square at 21 Brookline St. in July 2005. The night was an RSVP event, and by the time doors opened at 9 p.m., the line to get in stretched around the block to a Massachusetts Avenue T stop. Cambridge Day asked Athena Costa, a veteran of the original ManRay, to give us her reactions to the new club.

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The new ManRay on Saturday. (Photo: Mario Buttali)

After waiting in a line reminiscent of the old concert ticket times on a chilly night, we were finally transported back “home” in a reincarnation of our beloved ManRay nightclub. This is what happens when you really believe.

Like a phoenix awakened with the most perfect lighting and sound. Beautiful, shimmering and the most precise shade of darkness to envelop you upon arrival in the main room. The new ManRay venue is a fantastic open space with an ample dance floor and stage and three bars – including one in a separate lounge area. And if you’ve ever been to a goth or gay night in the area, you’ll quickly recognize the bartenders, go-go dancers, event staff, coat check and security people as well.

People queue up Saturday to get into ManRay in Central Square. (Photo: Marc Levy)

I don’t mean to get teary-eyed, but it was a glorious “family” reunion from near and far with lots of excitement and hugs, including applause for resident DJ Chris Ewen, who absolutely slayed with the tracks … Depeche Mode’s “Home” really sums it up for the night, as well as Ed’s killer performance of “Vogue” and a rowdy “Du Hast” rock out. Just like the old days, the anxiety melts away on the dance floor and you’re in the zone.

The entire evening just filled my black heart with joy. The new club is fantastic, and the hangover was worth its weight in gold. ManRay is back and our “family” of weirdos, goths, lgbtq+ and alt kids can finally return home.