Dexter Filming Locations: Briar Cemetery

DEXTER Filming Locations - hundreds of actual places where the TV show Dexter was filmed.

The location: Briar Cemetery

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

    A. Briar Cemetery.

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

    A. 165 Vista Boulevard, Miami.

Q. When did we see it on the show?

    A. In Episode 3, of Season 7, "Buck the System".

    Dexter is stalking serial killer Ray Speltzer, who works as a groundkeeper at Briar Cemetery.

    He is also trying to convince Debra (who just recently discovered his dark secret) to let him dispatch Speltzer before he kills again.

    But she insists they have no evidence.

    So Dexter begins spying on Speltzer at the cemetery, and sees him enter a private mausoleum, which he locks behind him.

    Dexter returns after dark, scales the fence, and breaks into the mausoleum, where, sure enough, he finds a bizarre altar Speltzer has built, and a souvenir earring that he took from his last victim.

    While he's there, he gets a phone call from Debra, saying that she's going to stake out Speltzer's house.

    Realizing she's in danger, Dexter runs from the cemetery and speeds to the house where he finds Debra about to be killed by crazy Speltzer, who is wearing a mask with giant bull horns.

    We see it again in Episode 4, "Run", when Dexter sneaks into Speltzer's RV, and is attacked and captured there (and wakes up being stalked in a maze).

    In that same episode, they used Hollywood Forever again for the funeral scene where Debra & Angel attend the funeral of the barmaid Speltzer killed when Debra was at his house. She sees Speltzer there, watching and taunting her, and she almost attacks him (before Angel pulls her back.

    Only this time, they moved over northwest, and  shot this scene at the entrance to the cemetery chapel, just west of the cemetery's main gate.

Q. What is it actually in real life?

          A. A cemetery.

Q. Where can I find it in real life?

This spot on the lawn, near the lake, is just outside (north of) the large Cathedral Mausoleum where Valentino is buried.

On the show, the small mausoleum has the name "Laurel" above the door, but in real life the name reads "Cutts" above the door.  And there is no bull's head on top - they added that, as well as the two flower pots on the steps.  (See my photo below.)

Just to the left (east) of this small mausoleum, is the white double tomb of Harry Cohn, the former head of Columbia Pictures - who was probably the most disliked executive in Hollywood. Legend has it that at Cohn's funeral here, remarking on the big crowd, Red Skelton, said: “Give people what they want and they’ll come out.”

There is indeed a crematorium at Hollywood Forever (Beatle George Harrison was reportedly cremated here), but they didn't actually use it on the show. Instead, they built a replica of it at the studio.

The cemetery is just south of the Sunset-Gower studio where they film Dexter.  And in an interesting twist, Sunset-Gower was originally Columbia Pictures, which was run by the same Harry Cohn.

Dexter has filmed here in the past.  They filmed Rita's funeral here in Season 5.  And this is where Dexter dug up Ellen Wolfe, after Prado killed her in Season 3.

Hollywood Forever is a popular filming spot, and a number of movies and TV shows have been shot there over the years.

(You can read more about Hollywood Forever, and the stars buried there, by clicking here.

I shot the photo below in 2014. The building in the background is the Cathedral Mausoleum.

    I shot the photo below, of the nearby lake, in 2009.

Here is an aerial photo of the location.  Here is a Google StreetView.
  And here is a map link.

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

    A.  In the early seasons, I usually had to hunt down the locations after viewing the episodes, using clues from the various scenes.  By the now, though, I've developed a small group of fans, spies & tipsters who kept an eye out for Dexter filming in their neighborhoods, and would let me know in advance when something was about to film there.

    Between those reports, my own personal reconnaissance around town, and a few new resources I discovered, by the time the first episode airs, I already know most (but not all) of the filming locations, and only need to watch the episodes and match up the scenes with the correct locations.

    This group of helpful fans includes Rick, Ellen, Elaine, Mia, Joel, Susan, Eric, Jeff, Kerry & others. My thanks to all of them.

    But I needed no help on this one.  I know Hollywood Forever like the back of my hand. In fact, I've written a number of pages about the park and the stars buried there, which you can read here.

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