Dexter Filming Locations: New Year's Eve Party

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

The location: New Year's Eve Party

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

    A. A New Years Eve party, held at Angel's new restaurant. "Papa's Cafe".

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 12, the finale of Season 7, "Surprise, Motherf**ker!"

    This locale shows up two times, late in the episode.

    The first time we see it, it's night, and a party is underway.  We see both Angel Batista and Masuka dancing happily under the lights to salsa music, while Quinn sits morosely to one side.

    Debra pushes her way through the crowd to Jamie, and asks if she's seen Dexter. Jamie says no. Debra checks her phone for messages, and is so distracted that she barely remembers it is New Year's Eve.

    Jamie joins a depressed Quinn at his table, and flirts with him a bit.

    Angel warns Masuka not to come out in a diaper as "Baby New Year".

    Debra asks Angel is he's seen Dexter. He says no, but that LaGuerta hasn't shown up at the party either, so maybe they are both trying to avoid running into each other (since LaGuerta had arrested him).

    Debra phones the police station and has them check on the location of LaGuerta's car.  She is told that LaGuerta is headed down to the docks.

    Debra knows that Dexter had Estrada in the back of his car, and knows that the last time he planned to kill Estrada, he picked a spot down at the docks.  So, LaGuerta heading there too is a recipe for disaster.

    Debra phones Dexter to warn him, but he doesn't answer. She leaves a message saying "Whatever you're thinking of doing, please don't do it."

    We see the New Year's Eve party again at the very end of the episode, after Debra has shot & killed LaGuerta, to protect Dexter.

    In an effort to look normal in public, and perhaps establish an alibi, they are walking through the New Year's party crowd, as the countdown to midnight starts up.  A band is playing on the beach, and salsa dancers in skimpy costumes are dancing on stage.

Debra is obviously shell-shocked, as Dexter guides her through the crowd.

Dexter thinks to himself that the rules we make for ourselves help define who we are:

So when we break those rules, we risk losing ourselves and becoming something unknown. Who is Deb now?  Who am I? Is this a new beginning?  Or the beginning of the end?

Fireworks burst overhead, as the crowd joins in singing "Auld Lang Syne".

Q. What is it actually in real life?

    A. A sheltered beach, a beach snack stand, and the nearby street (plus a lot of big props).

Q. Where can I find it in real life?

    A. This is back at Bay Shore Park again, Alamitos Bay Beach, in Long Beach, and at the Kayak Cafe where they filmed the earlier scene of Angel at his beach café.

    It's located along the east side of 54th Place, between Bay Shore Avenue & Ocean Blvd.

    This is one of the show's favorite locations.  They've been using this corner of Long Beach ever since the very first season.

    Only this time they heavily decorated the small café with Christmas lights, along with the nearby pier.  They put up large concert-style scaffolding towers (seen in the photo below) on nearby 54th Street, and built a concert stage on Bay Shore beach. They even had a barge offshore with search lights (not to mention fireworks).  A lot of effort for what turned out to be a relatively short scene.

    The shot at the very end, of Dex & Deb walking through the crowd, was filmed just off to the west of the beach, on 54th Place, as they walked south, under those scaffolding towers.

    ( I heard one critic say that the end scene reminded him of the final scene in the original Season One, where Dexter imagines himself being hailed by a crowd as a hero.  That may be because that scene was also shot right here on 54th Place. )

I shot the photo below on the morning of October 2012, as they were putting the set up,
taken from Bay Shore Avenue & 54th Place (with my camera looking south down 54th Place).

And this is the Kayak café (otherwise known as Angel's "Papa's Cafe"):

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

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.

Dexter fan Mia Chikamori sent me some great photos she took of the night time shoot,
along with details about what was going on:

This is the short pier at the beach, decorated in Christmas lights for the shoot:

This is the Kayak café (AKA Angel's "Papa's Cafe"), also heavily decorated with holiday lights:

This is a table full of New Years Eve party revelers, which is seen during the scene:

This is a boat (or barge) anchored out on the bay, just offshore, adding some searchlights to the party scene:

Mia shot this just as Dex & Deb were about to begin their walk through the crowd:

And here are some backstage photos, including MCH talking to Jennifer between shots,
and David Zayas taking a break and checking out his phone:


Mia also created this map, which shows the locations of the stage, the table, the boat, and the pier -
as well as the path Dex & Deb took (dotted line) when they walked through the party crowd.

( Thanks, Mia!  Great job! )

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