Fascinating piece on Medium by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences:
On the evening of May 16, 1929, Academy members and their guests, 270 in total, filled the Blossom Room at the Roosevelt Hotel for a banquet featuring the presentation of the Academy’s Merit Awards. They dined on fillet of sole, half a broiled chicken on toast, string beans and potatoes. And they all knew the winners.
My favorite tidbit from this article: The ceremony lasted only 20 minutes!