A kinescope is a device used to record the output of a television screen onto 16mm film. ABC-TV used kinescopes to create backup copies of episodes for the smaller-market stations who couldn't afford videotape recorders, or which broadcast the show at times other than the regular network airtime of 4:00PM ET/3:00pm CT (June 1966-April 1967), 3:30PM ET/2:30PM CT (April 1967-July 1968), and back to 4:00PM ET/3:00 CT (July 1968-April 1971) because they were broadcasting syndicated or local programming at that time. The kinescopes were recorded on 16mm black-and-white film, and continued to be used until the fall of 1970.

26 Dark Shadows episodes exist only in kinescope format because the original videotape masters were lost over the years. These are episodes 83, 120, 145, 149, 193, 194, 260, 296, 300, 318, 320, 323, 325, 335, 341, 344, 351, 352, 368/369, 437, 509, 683, 797, 813, 1006, and 1017. 211's original master was long-believed lost, but was recovered and released in 2008 in TB C6D4. Additionally, one episode, 289, exists on videotape with Spanish audio only, the video from which has been set to English audio sourced from kinescope film. Out of all 1225 episodes of the original series, 1219 is the only one no longer extant on either kinescope film or videotape. A home audio recording of this episode was combined with still images to reconstruct the installment for VHS and DVD releases.

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