The brick building at 85 Park Ave. in Arlington Heights was constructed during the height of the Great Depression as a community resource and center of learning.
Now, almost 75 years later, the former home of the Vitoria Dallin Public Library houses a sort of 21st century variation of its original mission, though high definition cameras and digital editing equipment have replaced books and periodicals.
Arlington Community Media, Inc., the town’s local television system since it was formed as a non-profit in 2003, is a long way removed from its cable access roots. In 1980, the town licensed its first cable television franchise with the old American Cablesystems, operating out of a studio on Mystic Street at a time when VHS cassettes were still high-tech. Over the next two decades, the operation evolved, even if its equipment did so only marginally, if you ask the staff at what is better known as ACMi. There was for a long time only a single local channel, 8, and a sort of support group for would-be community TV producers known as Arlington Cable Access.
That all changed in September 2006, when ACMi formally took control of local cable broadcasting.