Dexter Filming Locations: the Christmas Tree Lot

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

The location: Christmas Tree Lot

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

    A. A Christmas tree lot, and the adjacent parking lot.  A sign says "Santa's Tree Land".

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

    A. Somewhere in Miami.

Q. When did we see it on the show?

    A. In Episode 11, of Season 7, "Do You See What I See?".

    Arlene Schram is being pressured by Debra to testify against Hannah McKay for a murder she witnessed when she they were both young and at a halfway house.

    Arlene contacts Hannah, and in this scene we see them sitting in a parked car, next to a Christmas tree lot.

    Hannah is jittery, nervous, possibly high, feverishly chain-smoking...

    Arlene tells Hannah that she never told anyone that she saw Hannah poison the counselor.

    Hannah reminds her that the man was abusing them, that Arlene had backed her up when she killed him, and that they had always stuck together.

    But Arlene says that the detective (Debra) will be back, and that she can't lose her kids.

    Hannah assures her that she won't let that happen, that she will figure something out.

Q. What is it actually in real life?

    A. A parking lot next to a dockside restaurant.

Q. Where can I find it in real life?

    A. Dexter loves to "cluster-shoot", that is, to shoot multiple scenes in the same general area.

    And that is especially true when the location needed is a generic one, such as a parking lot, that can be found just about anywhere.

    So, it's no surprise that this lot is right next door to another Dexter location.

It's the parking lot just to the north of the Queen's Wharf restaurant, where they earlier shot the scene of Dexter & Debra talking, back in Episode 9, .

And it's also next to the bar where they filmed Dexter contacting the recently-paroled Hector Estrada, in this same Episode 11.

The Queen's Wharf is located at 555 Pico Ave, in Long Beach, CA.

This is an ugly, industrial part of town, down at the cargo docks, west of downtown L.B., on the other side of the Los Angeles River.

The circular bridges you see in the background of the scene are onramps & offramps from the Long Beach (710) Freeway, leading to and from Pico Avenue and the Pier streets.

They filmed a large part of this 11th episode down here at the docks, near where they had previously shot the scenes of Dexter & Isaac aboard the cargo ship, the Fearless.  Scenes for this episode that were shot nearby included this Christmas tree lot scene, the scene of Estrada being released from prison, Dexter's first meet-up with Estrada outside a bar, the deserted boathouse where Dexter framed Doakes, and the kill room where Dexter was about to kill Estrada (before being surprised by LaGuerta).

The Queen's Wharf restaurant was the only place for nearby dock workers to grab a bite to eat.  But it may not be there by the time you read this... In 2012, the Port of Long Beach decided to tear the down the 40-year-old restaurant, along with the Deli next door, to make room for a new port fireboat station.

    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.

    This tip came from Rick.  (Thanks, Rick!)

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