Dexter Filming Locations: Estrada's Prison

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

The location: Hector Estrada's prison release

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

    A. The exterior gate of a prison.

    A sign outside reads: "Miami-Dade County Department of Corrections - South County Correctional Facility".

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

    A. Somewhere near Miami.

Q. When did we see it on the show?

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

    Dexter learns that Hector Estrada, the man who ordered the death of his mother, has been paroled from prison on a "compassionate release clause", because he is supposedly dying.

    In this short scene, Dexter watches as Estrada is released from prison.

    Estrada walks out the gate, and then sees a bus about to leave.

    As Estrada runs after the bus, Dexter thinks to himself that he isn't acting like a dying man...

Q. What is it actually in real life?

    A. A wall surrounding a refinery - with some added CGI.

Q. Where can I find it in real life?

    A. The prison guard tower is fake, a CGI insert.

But the tall wall and the gate he walks out of is real.

    This is tall wall surrounding what appears to be an oil refinery field (lots of storage tanks). It is on the south side of Pier C Street, near the Long Beach harbor.

    The camera is looking east up Pier C Street, and that's the direction Estrada runs after the bus.

    The freeway overpass seen at the end of the street (in the scene) is the Long Beach (710 Freeway.

    The exit he emerges from is the diagonally-slanted northwest corner of that refinery wall, which sits next to a tug boat operator called Curtin Maritime, at 1500 Pier C Street, Berth 57, Long Beach.  Estrada walks out from between that slanted wall and the front buildings of Curtin Maritime.

A different part of that same Curtin Maritime property - to the south of Pier C Street - was used to shoot two other scenes in this episode: the deserted boat house (where LaGuerta & Matthews find evidence against Doakes), and the kill room scene where LaGuerta almost traps Dexter.  The later flashback of Doakes on a dock was shot just a few yards away.

And it's just across the channel from the Queen's Wharf restaurant, the parking lot where they filmed the Christmas tree scene, and the bar where Dexter first meets Estrada.
 And here is a map link.

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

    A.  I assumed from the start that the prison tower was probably a CGI insert, so I knew that all I was looking for was a tall wall.

    There weren't many clues, just those three yellow concrete posts that Estrada runs past (as he chases the bus), and what looked like a freeway overpass at the end of the street.

    Fortunately, I knew they had filmed a lot around this part of Long Beach harbor for this episode, so that's where I started looking, near their other locations.

    From aerial photos, I spotted tall walls around several local refineries in the area.   I then used Google StreetView to check out the each wall, street by street. When I got to Pier C Street, Google StreetView wouldn't work there - except for the first (east) block.  But on that block was something that caught my eye: a revolving turnstile gate, similar to the one Estrada walks through when he leaves prison.  (You can see it here.

    So I took a closer look at Pier C Street. Given the location of the Long Beach Freeway, I knew that if this was the street, the camera had to be looking east up the street.  So I switched to Google's aerial photos, and rotated them to look east.

    The first thing I noticed was that the end/corner of the wall slanted in diagonally, just like the wall in the scene.  Zooming in closer, I was able to spot those three yellow posts, and then match a power box (and cable) on the wall with the scene.

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