Dexter Filming Locations: Miami International Airport

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

The location: Miami International Airport

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

    A. Miami International Airport.

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

    A. 4200 N.W. 21 Street, in Miami.

Q. When did we see it on the show?

    A. We first see the airport in Episode 5, Season 5, "First Blood".

    After Lumen almost killed an innocent man, Dexter finally convinced her to use the plane tickets he gave her (at the seaside cafe) to leave Miami and go home.

    In this scene, she arrives at the airport, but when going through security, they insist on a hand pat-down, and the stress of being touched by the guard (after the abuse she suffered at the hands of others) is too much for her to endure.

    In the last scene of the episode, we see Lumen leaving the terminal and getting into a taxi.

    The cab driver assumes she has just arrived, and welcomes her to Miami. In fact, she has simply decided to not to leave.

    We see the Miami International Airport again in Season 7, Episode 1 ("Are You...?").

    Dexter speeds to the airport to intercept the man who shot & killed detective Mike Anderson, a Ukrainian mobster named Viktor Baskov.

    First, Dexter finds his fingerprint in the victim's car, then visits Viktor's apartment, where he finds blood & gun powder residue on his shirt.

    At the airport, Dexter goes to the counter and buys a ticket, in order to get access to Viktor.

    He soon spots him entering a restroom. Dexter follows him inside and knocks him out with his usual hypodermic.  He then puts Viktor's unconscious frame into a wheelchair, and takes him to a quickly improvised kill room, in the airport's lost baggage department.

    He covers his head with a plastic bag, to contain the blood, then smashes his head in with a fire extinguisher.

    He wheels the body out of the airport on a baggage cart and dumps it at sea.

Q. What is it actually in real life?

    A. A cruise ship terminal.

Q. Where can I find it in real life?

    A. This scene was actually shot at the World Cruise Center, at the Port of Los Angeles, in San Pedro, CA.

    As the name suggests, it is the central terminal for cruise ships leaving the Los Angeles harbor, including the Royal Caribbean cruise lines.

    It's located right under the west end of the Vincent Thomas Bridge, in San Pedro.

    If you exit the Harbor (110) Freeway at the Harbor Blvd offramp, you'll find the cruise center right in front of you, when you reach street level.

    Although they used an establishing shot of the real Miami Airport to open the scene (see the top photo), they filmed all of the interior terminal shots inside the L.A. cruise terminal.

    The terminal features two large, red tile columns just outside the entrance, and they can be clearly seen through the glass windows in these scenes.

    And the final scene, where Lumen exits the terminal and catches a taxi in the parking lot, was shot just outside the main Los Angeles terminal building.

    The camera is looking north, towards the large blue & white parking structure and the north boarding area, but they used CGI to insert the name "Miami International Airport". Not to mention that plane in the sky.

    But look closely, and you'll see part of the green Vincent Thomas Bridge peeking up over the top of the "airport".

    In the 7th season, Dexter stalks Viktor through the same terminal, and eventually kills him in the lost luggage room. For once, they actually shot that kill-room scene where it was supposed to be: in the back of the Cruise Terminal, where they process luggage and cargo. (OK, granted, it's not an airport, but at least it's a baggage area.)

    This Cruise Terminal was made famous in the TV series, "The Love Boat", but it has been used before to play an airport, most notably in the 2003 movie "S.W.A.T."

    Note how they doctored the front side of this building with CGI to add the fake name and the
    jet airplane overhead. Also note the top of Vincent Thomas bridge seen on the right side:

    I shot the photos below in December 2010.
    (and yes, that's the top of a cruise ship, at dock, peeking over the roof.).

    And here is the front of the old main terminal, where they shot the interior scenes of Lumen bing searched.
    (Those red columns are visible through the windows in the third photo from the top.)

    Here is an aerial photo of the terminal. And here is a map link.

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 5th 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.

    Between those reports, and my own personal reconnaissance around town, by the time the first episode aired, I already knew most (but not all) of the filming locations, and only needed to watch the episodes and match up the scenes with the correct locations.

    This group of helpful fans includes Kerry, Rick, Joel, Geoff, Ellen, Julie, Susan, Jeff, and others. My thanks to all of them.

    This particular location was spotted by both Rick and Kerry (who recognized it because she took a Royal Caribbean cruise from the terminal to Mexico last year.) Thanks, Rick & Kerry!

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