The location: Miami Metro Police Station - Redux
Q. What is it supposed to be on the show?
A. Yet another view of the Miami Metro Police Station.
Q. Where is it supposed to be on the show?
A. Somewhere in Miami.
Q. When did we see it on the show?
A. We first see this new establishing shot of the station in Episode 1, of Season 5, "My Bad", at around 35:23.
The same shot is then repeated twice in Episode 2 ("Hello, Bandit"), at 5:33 and 39:11.
Q. What is it actually in real life?
A. A condo.
Q. Where can I find it in real life?
A. For once, it's actually in Miami !
It's a former waterfront hotel, that is now a hi-rise condo known as The Venetia, at 555 NE 15th Street, in Miami, Florida. (That explains the big "V" you see on the elevator shaft.)
It's at the west end of the Venetian Causeway bridge, in Biscayne Bay, right next to the Marriott Hotel.
In the main shot (with the camera looking west), we are seeing just the bottom levels of the 35-story tower. And, of course, they added the Miami Metro Police sign to the front, of course, probably via CGI.
This new location adds yet another piece to the mosaic that makes up the Miami Metro headquarters on "Dexter".
Most of the
scenes that take place at the station are interior shots, which are mostly filmed
on a sound stage set at Sunset-Gower Studio, in Hollywood.
However, every now and then, they opt to show an exterior shot of the station, and when they do, they have used a number of different locations over the years.
shot we most often see is a building in Marina del Rey.
But at least they kept it consistent with this new image: like that often-used Marina del Rey view, this new shot also shows the station fronting on a marina.
They returned to this location in the 7th season, for a scene where Dexter and Debra walk & talk on the marina dock.
Compare this screenshot from the show:
In 2011, Victor M. Gimenez, of GMV Graphics & Signs (in Miami), emailed me to let me know that the Miami
Police sign to the front, wasn't done with CGI, that it was actually a
large format banner that they printed and installed for that
shot. They put it up on the morning of 05/16/11, and took it down
that same night. (Thanks, Victor!)
Victor also sent me the photos below of them installing the sign:
Later, in 2012, another fan, Chuck, sent me this photo of the building, which includes the bridge:
Q. How the heck did you figure out where it was?
A. When this new image first showed up, at the start of Season 5, I assumed it was probably shot at Marina del Rey, or perhaps somewhere in Long Beach, since they haven't filmed in Miami since the early part of Season One. Still, part of me suspected that it might be an actual Miami shot, especially when I couldn't match it in Marina del Rey.
Late in the second episode, they showed a wider view of the same area that included part of a bridge (see the second photo from the top). At first, I wasn't sure it was the same place, but when I compared the two shots, it became clear that the wide view was indeed of the same building. And I knew it wasn't shot in L.A.
So I went to
Miami - via Bing's Birds-Eye photos - and began looking at the ends of
that city's many bridges. When I found a building that looked like it might
be the right one, I switched to Google
StreetView and looked at it from the bridge. And sure enough, I
found a perfect match.
About six months later, Victor sent me the info about the sign and the installation photos you see above.
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