Dexter Filming Locations: Miami Central Hospital

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

The location: Miami Central Hospital

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

    A. Miami Central Hospital.

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

    A. Somewhere on the coast of Miami.

Q. When did we see it on the show?

    A. In the final Episode 12, of the final Season 8: "Remember the Monsters?".

    This is the hospital where they take Debra after she is shot by Saxon, and it's where she later dies.

    It's where Saxon comes to try to finish off Deb, but is caught by Batista.

    It's also from this hospital that Dexter steals Deb's body, before taking it to his boat.

Q. What is it actually in real life?

    A. A former hospital.

Q. Where can I find it in real life?

    A. This is the Robert F. Kennedy Medical Center, at 4500 W. 116th Street, in Hawthorne, CA.

    You'll find it a block west of Hawthorne Blvd, a few blocks south of the 105 Freeway - not far from the abandoned Hawthorne Mall (another popular filming location).

    The hospital entrance (seen at the top) faces Grevillea Avenue, just north of 118th Street.

    Naturally, it is a completely landlocked location, about five miles from the ocean, and it does not sit next to a boat dock, as is pictured in the season finale.

    That part was strictly CGI.  That boat scene was actually shot down at a dock in San Pedro, with the hospital inserted in the background via blue-screen.

    Dating back to 1926, this 229-bed emergency hospital shut down in 2005, because it was losing money.

    Located in a working class area, it had been inundated with low-income, uninsured patients seeking emergency help, in the years before the Affordable Health Care Act took effect.

    There's a sad irony to that, since the hospital was named after the late Senator Robert Kennedy, who had championed the causes of the poor, and health care in particular, before he was assassinated here in Los Angeles in 1968.

    Dexter used both the hospital interior and its exterior for a lengthy, multi-day shoot back in July.

    The closed hospital is now used a lot for filming; everything from the movie "Cranked" to the TV hospital show "Heartland".   (In fact, if you look at this aerial photo from Google, you'll see studio trucks & trailers parked in the lot there on the day it was shot.)

    I shot the photos below in 2013.


Here is an aerial photo of the location.  Here is a Google StreetView.
  And here is a map link.

Footnote: I learned later, in 2021, that the name "Miami Central Hospital" had been used previously on the show, in an earlier episode from Season 3, "Turning Biminese", in scenes where the pregnant Rita was rushed to the same hospital, while Dexter was off killing Ethan Turner.. Those earlier scenes weren't filmed here at RFK, but it is interesting to note that the show was using the same fictional hospital name some five years before Debra wound up there in this series finale.  thanks to Heather Greene for alerting me to that bit of Dexter trivia.

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 let me know in advance when something is about to film there.

    Between those reports, my own personal reconnaissance around town, and a few new resources I discovered, by the time the new 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, Suzi, Elaine, Mia, Julie, Kerry, Joel, Eric, Jeff, & others. My thanks to all of them.

    This tip came from Rick.  I drove past during filming, and noted they had a fake sign up and that there were sandbags piled on the curb in front of the entrance (since a storm is coming).  (Thanks, Rick!)

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