This section is from the book "The Steward's Handbook And Guide To Party Catering", by Jessup Whitehead. Also available from Amazon: Larousse Gastronomique.
It is so commonly the case that the dance and the supper both have to take place in the one room, the hotel dining room, because there is not a second room large enough, that, in offering these suggestions, I shall always have to consider that the likeliest contingency; yet it is by no means the best or pleasantest way to carry out such affairs. The best of all such parties that I can call to mind have been those where there was a ball room separate from the supper room, where the latter might be prepared in a leisurely manner, decorated, set with the best skill of the best table men, made to look handsome, and at the appointed moment the doors were thrown open and the guests marched in. Some pleasantly arranged hotels have a parlor so large that it serves the purpose of a ball room in ordinary times, that is for everything but grand balls attended by large numbers, and a little forethought excercised by the builders of hotels might generally lead to the grand parlor and ladies' ordinary, or the reading room or some other adjoining, being fitted with sliding or removable doors, all to be thrown into one ball room without interfering with the main dining hall at all.
The city halls which caterers serve entertainments in are so arranged as to have separate dancing and supper rooms, else they are not fit for the purpose, and the caterer who finds the hall not so fitted should think twice before he undertakes the job, for supper-giving becomes a more complicated and troublesome affair when the dancers have to be asked to please stop while the tables are set in the same room, and again while they are cleared away.