The gala opening of the Max Factor building, 1666 N. Highland Ave, Hollywood, November 26, 1935

I always assumed that the opening of the new Max Factor building at 1666 N. Highland Ave in Hollywood on November 27, 1935 was probably a big deal, but until I came across this photo and started digging a little deeper, I didn’t know the opening was a gala attended by so many stars and celebrities. It makes sense, doesn’t it? After all, Max Factor was one of the go-to makeup guys in Hollywood with an A-list roster of clientele. But this photo taken on the big night makes it look more like a movie premiere.

This is an advertisement placed in the Los Angeles Times the following day announcing that the makeup studio is now open:

This advertisement appeared in the January 1935 issue of The Screen Guilds Magazine:

This article appeared in Variety on November 26, 1935:

Max Factor’s upcoming opening also made the L.A. Times on November 17, 1935:

Even more amazing is that a scroll of celebrity autographes was made for the evening, the MAX FACTOR’S SCROLL OF FAME:

In this photo, Max Factor is holding an ink pot for Barbara Stanwyck as she signs the scroll with a quill:

Here’s some of the people who were there that night:

  • Veronica Lake
  • Lucille Ball
  • Edgar Burgen
  • Spencer Tracy
  • Virginia Bruce
  • Ginger Rogers
  • Phyllis Haver
  • Marlene Dietrich
  • Colleen Moore
  • Maureen O’Hara
  • Errol Flynn
  • Jack LaRue
  • Claudette Colbert
  • Judy Garland
  • Edward G Robinson
  • John Barrymore
  • Esther Ralston
  • Deborah Kerr
  • Robert Taylor
  • Barbara Stanwyck
  • Ann Rutherford
  • Bela Lugosi

And here’s a few more shots of the building:

From some time in the mid-to-late 1930s:

From 1938 (this one looks like it was taken from a motion picture)

And this one is from circa 1952:

The building is still around and in great condition. It now houses the Hollywood Museum and Mel’s Diner. This image is from November 2021:


My sincere thanks to Judithe Raimist Hilton Factor for most of the photos and information she generously shared with me for this post.


Also by Martin Turnbull:

The Hollywood’s Garden of Allah novels

Book 1 – The Garden on Sunset
Book 2 – The Trouble with Scarlett
Book 3 – Citizen Hollywood
Book 4 – Searchlights and Shadows
Book 5 – Reds in the Beds
Book 6 – Twisted Boulevard
Book 7 – Tinseltown Confidential
Book 8 – City of Myths
Book 9 – Closing Credits

Chasing Salomé: a novel of 1920s Hollywood

The Heart of the Lion: a novel of Irving Thalberg’s Hollywood

All the Gin Joints: a novel of World War II Hollywood
(Book 1 in the Hollywood Home Front Trilogy)


Grab your free books now (limited time offer)


Connect with Martin Turnbull:






About Martin Turnbull

The Hollywood's Garden of Allah novels blog is by Martin Turnbull, a Los Angeles based historical fiction author of a series of novels set at the Garden of Allah Hotel, which stood on Sunset Blvd from 1927 to 1959. Check him out at and Facebook: "gardenofallahnovels"
This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to The gala opening of the Max Factor building, 1666 N. Highland Ave, Hollywood, November 26, 1935

  1. mayaspeaks5499 says:

    Good Morning Martin, Hope you are well.  Love that building! And everything in it (well, most things).  Thank you for posting the clippings.  REAL Hollywood. I really must visit again. Saw your name in the credits of the most recent LAHTF Coffee and Conversation and thought about you. And here you are.  Any progress on the Nazimova wig? Keep up the great work!  Maya 

  2. Victoria White says:

    Hello Martin, thank you for sharing this. So wonderful to see some more of Hollywood history.

    I am eagerly awaiting the release of your next book. I need a new book to get me through this long long winter herd in Montana.

    I pray all is well with you and your loved ones. Blessings.

    Victoria White

    • Hello Victoria, and thanks for dropping by. My next novel – book 2 in the Hollywood Home Front Trilogy won’t be out until summer 2022, so a little late to get you through your tough Montana winter, but is IS coming!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s