Dexter Filming Locations: the College Campus


The location: The College Campus.

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

    A. An outdoor patio at a college campus.

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 3 (of Season 3), "The Lion Sleeps Tonight".

    When the dead body of Freebo's ex-girlfriend, Teegan, is found in a park, the police have no idea who she is.

    But Dexter recognizes the "Jane Doe" as the girl he saw her arguing with Freebo at Freebo's house.
    And he assumes that it was Freebo who killed her.

    The problem is that Dexter can't come forward with the information without admiting that he was in Freebo's house (where he killed Oscar Prado). He needs a way to draw the cops' attention to Teegan without implicating himself.

    So, Dexter arranges to meet his sister Debra at a college campus, then posts a "Missing Person" flyer (including her photo) on a public kiosk, within easy eyeshot.

    When they meet at a patio table on campus, Debra presents him with a tiny t-shirt for he & Rita's expected baby.

    When he tells her that he doesn't think he's going to be there as a father for the baby, Debra slugs him. Literally.  She tells him he'd make a great father, and of course he's going to be there - that it's not about him, it's about the baby.

    Just about then, Debra spots the photo of Teegan Campbell on the flyer, and recognizes it as her "Jane Doe".

    She hurries off to let the police department know.

    Mission accomplished.

Q. What is it actually in real life?

    A. A residential home, but not in Miami.

Q. Where can I find it in real life?

    A. This scene was shot on the campus of Loyola Marymount University (LMU), a Catholic university located at 1 LMU Drive, in Playa del Rey, CA.

    To be more specific, it was shot on the patio on the west side of the Foley Building, which is south of the student center, and across from (east of) the library. That's near the center of the LMU campus.

    In the opening shot of Dexter tacking up the flyer on the kiosk, the camera is looking east, as Dexter walks west along a palm-tree lined campus walkway that passes along the north side of the Foley building.

    It then cuts to Debra joining him at a patio table, and that scene was shot near the north edge of that patio on the west side of the Foley building. (Look for the circles in the concrete floor.) When the camera is on Dexter, the camera is looking north.

    Loyola Marymount University sits atop a bluff about a mile south of Marina Del Rey, and about a mile and a half north of Los Angeles International Airport (LAX).  To get there, take Lincoln Blvd to LMU Drive and follow it to the center of the campus.

    This shot of the patio & the Foley building is from the LMU website.

    Here is an aerial photo of the campus, with the patio marked. And here is a map link.

    As far as I know, they haven't filmed any other scenes on the LMU campus, but the house where Dexter kills the child stalker was located just south of the campus, and at nearby Marina Del Rey they filmed a number of key scenes for the third season, including the boating store, Mario's arrest and Dexter & Rita's wedding.

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

    A. The one good thing about this location was that patio they were on had those giant circles in the concrete, which should have made it easy to spot from the air. After all, how many college quads have giant polka dots?

    My first guess was that this was probably Cal-State Long Beach, given the amount of time that the "Dexter" crew spends in that town. So I went to the aerial photos and started looking for that polka-dot patio. But it wasn't there.  So I moved on to Long Beach City College, but it wasn't there either. Cal-State Dominguez Hills, a few miles away? Nope. L.A. Harbor College?  Nada... And so it went.

    Loyola hadn't crossed my mind, and it was still on my "haven't found it list", until "D.A." finally let me know that it was shot at there, and a quick glance at the aerial photos of that campus quickly turned up that polka-dot patio. (Thanks, guy.)

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