location: Brother Sam's Garage:
Q. What is it actually in real life?
A. An auto repair garage.
A. To be more specific, this is Tempco Transmissions, at 1505 E. Burnett Street, in Signal Hill, CA.
That's between Willow and Pacific Coast Highway, and a few blocks west of Cherry.
It's on the north side of the street, just west of Walnut, and just east of the parking lot where Dexter backed into the dumpster.
It's also less than a mile northwest of both the Tooth Fairy's pharmacy and his self-storage facility.
Signal Hill is a tiny oil town completely surrounded by the larger city of Long Beach.
The Dexter crew painted
a graffiti-like "Good Shepherd" mural on the garage's front. Tempco's
owners liked it so much, they asked them to leave it up (as well as a
few fake bullet holes).
I shot the photos below on an overcast day in September 2011.
Here is an aerial
photo of the garage. Here is a Google StreetView.
Q. How the heck did you figure out where it was?
A. In previous seasons, I've
usually had to hunt down the locations after viewing the episodes,
using clues from the various scenes. By the 6th season, though,
I'd 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.
I had lots of help on this one - which was a team effort.
Both Eric M. (who works nearby) and Rick tipped me beforehand that filming was going to start at Tempco.
Then Ellen took
a drive past the location and let me know that Burnett Street was
closed on that block, that they were wetting down the street, and that
she saw a tow truck towing a black car with major front end
damage. Later, Ellen updated to say that the tow truck had "Good
Shepherd Auto Repair" painted on the side. (That was the first
time I'd heard that name.).
Next, Joel emailed me a few photos of the base camp and some of the vehicles parked nearby:
Joel reported back a couple more
times during the filming, including once at night, when they were
filming in the lot next to Tempco, and during a break, when he let me
know that the base camp was gone, but that the set was intact for
future filming, including the tow truck.
( Thanks go to Joel, Ellen, Eric and Rick. Thanks, guys! )
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