Dexter Filming Locations: The Police Awards Ceremony


The location: The Police Awards Ceremony.

Q. What is it supposed to be on the show?

    A. An outdoor plaza where a police awards ceremony is held.

Q. Where is it supposed to be on the show?

    A. Somewhere near the water in Miami.

Q. When did we see it on the show?

    A. In Episode 12, "The British Invasion" - the second season's finale.

    After the smoke clears on the Doakes affair, the police are convinced that they have successfully closed the "Bay Harbor Butcher" case.

    As a result, we see Debra & Angel at an outdoor ceremony, receiving medals from the police force in recognition of their efforts on that case.

    Dexter sits in the audience, watching.

    We hear his thoughts, which are about how he his no longer Harry's apprentice - he is now a master in his own right.

Q. What is it actually in real life?

    A. An open space at a public park.

Q. Where can I find it in real life?

    A. At the Rainbow Harbor section of Shoreline Park, in Long Beach, CA, next to the new Pike restaurants.

    The Rainbow Harbor area is located on the south/southwest side of Shoreline Drive, between the Long Beach Aquarium of the Pacific and Shoreline Village (both of which were used as locations for other scenes in this episode). It's right across the water (north of) the lighthouse in Shoreline Park.

    This particular spot at Rainbow Harbor is known as "The Terraces". It is an outdoor area, with two large, circular plazas made of colorful, patterned concrete. In between those two circular plazas are several tiers of grassy strips, leading from the lower plaza to the upper one. The area lies just west of the Pine Avenue Pier (at the south end of Pine Avenue), and is right across the water from (north of) the lighthouse atop a grassy knoll in Shoreline Park.

    In this short scene, the audience members (and Dexter) are seated in this circular Terrace plaza area, looking out over the water. Behind them, you can see the lighthouse in Shoreline Park, across the water (known as Rainbow Harbor).

    Near this spot, there is also a semi-circle of new restaurants.  The restaurants are part of the southern half of the new entertainment development known as "The Pike".  "The Terraces" sit near the center of this semi-circle of restaurants, to their south, between the restaurants and the water. To be more specific, as of 2008, this Terrace area is between Gladstone's restaurant (on the northeast) and P.J. Chang's China Bistro (on the northwest).

    On my last visit there, they had also added a large canopy over the lower area, as you can see in the photos below - although I'm not sure if that is a permanent addition or a temporary one.

    ( By the way, "The Pike" name originally referred to a popular, old Coney Island-style theme park that used to exist in the same area. Among other typical carnival attractions, it featured the infamous Cyclone Racer roller coaster. A pedestrian bridge now spanning nearby Shoreline Drive is made to resemble a roller coaster, as a tribute to the area's history.  That bridge leads across the street to the rest of the new "Pike" center, on the north side of Shoreline Drive, which includes movie theatres, more restaurants, a Laugh Factory comedy club, a Ferris Wheel & parking.)

    Here is an aerial photo of the area.  And here is a map link.

    (I shot the photos below in 2008)

    (The photo above was shot looking northwest towards the Terraces stage area.)

    (The photo above was shot looking south towards the lighthouse at Shoreline Park.)

    (Here is a map of the Shoreline Village/Park area, with the Terraces in red. Click it for a larger version.)

    Numerous other scenes from "Dexter" have been shot in this general area, including multiple scenes at Shoreline Village, the area around the Queensway Bridge, at the Aquarium, and at the Coast Long Beach Hotel.

Q. How the heck did you figure out where it was?

    A. This was an easy one.

    If you're familiar with the Shoreline Village area (as I am), you can't miss that lighthouse atop a hill in Shoreline Park.

    But if that wasn't enough, you can also see the Queen Mary, a Long Beach landmark, docked in the distance (on the far left side - look closely at the top photo on this page).

    The only problem then was figuring exactly where they were (in relation to the lighthouse) when they filmed the scene, and a combination of aerial photos and a trip there in person easily answered that question.

    The tricky part was figuring out what that concrete area is called, but fortunately, I came across a map (above) on the pedestrian path there, which had it labeled "The Terraces".

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