Dark Shadows On Location
"A strange and dark place, near the edge of the sea…"
 

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Even in its humble beginnings as a relatively mundane soap opera on ABCtv, Dark Shadows brought innovation to a tried-and-tested medium.  Nowhere was this more apparent than in the extensive use of location photography during the show's first year, employing actual buildings in establishing footage for the studio locales.

Seaview Terrace seen on the show as the exterior of Collinwood
By the Edge of the Sea…
For all but the early weeks of production, Dark Shadows taped at ABC Studio 16, located on 433 West 53rd Street, New York, NY 10019, between 9th and 10th Avenue. Today, the property houses the Montel Williams talk-show, which tapes on Wednesdays and Thursdays. You can get free tickets to see the show record, and get to see inside the building, by calling (212) 989-8101.

The Black Pearl restaurant doubled for the Blue Whale tavern

Following a series of preliminary location scouts, Seaview Terrace was chosen to represent the exterior of the Collinwood mansion, beating out the Lyndhurst estate (see below).  Located in the picturesque coastal town of Newport, RI, the imposing façade faced out to the edge of the sea, just as in writer Art Wallace's original outline.  The privately owned house was patterned after a French Chateau, and was converted into student dormitories during the 1950s.  It is currently leased by the Salve Reginia University, providing accommodation and classrooms.  Located near the mansion is the Cliff Walk and beach seen in several episodes, including the area where Victoria Winters discovered an incriminating pen... Also located in Newport, a little further down the coast is the Blue Whale tavern, as represented by the Black Pearl Restaurant, which still exists today, though renovations have changed the view commonly seen on the show.

Click on thumbnail images to see pictures in full size

ABC Studio 16 as it looks today. Photograph by Bob Issel Seaview Terrace seen from the familiar back view. Photograph by Dean Wilson
Seaview Terrace, seen from the Cliff Walk. Photograph by Bob Issel The Beach Area seen in several early episodes. Photograph by Bob Issel
The Black Pearl Restaurant  Photograph by Dean Wilson The Black Pearl Restaurant  seen from the back. Photograph by Dean Wilson

The Big Screen and Beyond…
The Lyndhurst Estate, located in Tarrytown NY served as the location for the Collinwood estate in the two Dark Shadows movies.  The mansion grounds provided many backdrops in both films, including with the Administration Offices (the Jenkins' cottage), Greenhouse (which also housed the Collinwood basement beneath its foundations) and Stables (which also featured in the original series as Matthew Morgan's cottage and the Collinwood garages). The main building and its grounds are now owned by the National Trust, and are open to the public throughout the year.  For more information, visit the estate website: lyndhurst.org. Adjacent to the estate was Spratt House, which featured in the original series as the Old House.  It was destroyed in an arson attack in 1969.  Located nearby in Tarrytown is the historic Sleepy Hollow Cemetery, where the mausoleum seen in House of Dark Shadows can be found.  The Scarborough Train Station featured in the first episode of the series as the Collinsport Train Station.

Click on thumbnail images to see pictures in full size

The Lyndhurst Mansion
Photograph by Dean Wilson
The Lyndhurst Stablehouse, seen in the movies and series. Photograph by Dean Wilson
The Lyndhurst Poolhouse
Photograph by Bob Issel
The Lyndhurst Greenhouse as it looks today. Photograph by Darren Gross
The Jenkins Cottage, located at Lyndhurst. Photograph by Darren Gross Rose Cottage, the inspiration for the home on the series. Photograph by Bob Issel
The Collins Family Mausoleum at Sleepy Hollow
Photograph by Bob Issel
   

The Evans Cottage, in reality an Essex residence

Collinsport, Maine...
Essex,Connecticut was the locale used for the town of Collinsport.  Among the locations located there are the Collinsport Wharf, Main Street and the Evans Cottage.  The town's Griswold Inn was used for the Collinsport Inn and the town Post Office was used for the town Police Station.  Connecticut is also home to the Three Bears Inn--the Collinsport Inn in House of Dark Shadows; and Beechwood--the Old House in House of Dark Shadows, which has since been subdivided into private apartments.  Located in nearby Norwalk is the Lockwood Mathews Museum, which provided the abandoned monastery on St Eustace Island seen in the finale of House of Dark Shadows.  It is open to the public throughout the year.  For more information visit lockwoodmathews.org.

Click on thumbnail images to see pictures in full size

The Evans Cottage, located in Essex, Connecticut. Photograph by Bob Issel The Collinsport Police Station in Essex, Connecticut. Photograph by Bob Issel
The Griswold Inn, located in Essex, Connecticut. Photograph by Dean Wilson The Essex Waterfront, seen in many early episodes. Photograph by Dean Wilson
The Lockwood Mathews Estate Photograph by Dean Wilson Beechwood, the Old House in House of Dark Shadows. Photograph by Dean Wilson

With thanks to Darren Gross, Bob Issel, Paul Taylor and Dean Wilson

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