Dexter Filming Locations: The Skinner's Cigar Factory Warehouse


The location: The Skinner's Warehouse.

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

    A. A cigar tobacco warehouse.

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 the Third Season finale, Episode 12, "Do You Take Dexter Morgan?"

    Dexter has been captured by George King, a serial killer known as "The Skinner" (for the obvious reasons).

    He wakes up tied to a table in a deserted tobacco warehouse, with the Skinner waiting to kill him. (A familiar situation for Dexter, but with the usual positions reversed.)

    King has been searching for the missing Freebo (who owed him money), by capturing people who might know and torturing them. Little does he know that Dexter killed Freebo long ago.

    Miguel Prado, in an effort to get rid of Dexter, had told King that Dexter knows the whereabouts of Freebo. Hence the kidnapping.

    After having another fantasy conversation with his dead father (Harry), Dexter tries to take control of the situation by taking control away from the Skinner.  He tells King that he killed Freebo, then tries to unnerve him by telling him that Freebo is just an excuse, that King (like Dexter himself) really just enjoys killing, that he is a monster.

    The Skinner goes to get his tools, and when he steps away, Dexter notices that the legs of the table he's tied to are uneven, and he begins rocking the table.

    He manages to tip over the table and escapes his bonds (while breaking his arm in the process). He and the Skinner then battle, and Dexter gets the upper hand, breaking King's neck.

    Just then, the police (including Debra) arrive at the warehouse.  Dexter drops King's body in front of an oncoming police car, making it look like he committed suicide.

    Dexter manages to slip away unnoticed, and gets to his wedding on time (albeit with a cast on his arm).

Q. What is it actually in real life?

    A. Part of a former shipyard.

Q. Where can I find it in real life?

    A. This scene was shot at Southwest Marine, at 985 S. Seaside Ave., on Terminal Island, across the channel from Ports O'Call Village, in the Los Angeles Harbor.

    The scene was shot inside Building 7 there, the "Electrical Shop". The tied-to-the-table scenes were shot in an upper loft, while the police-arrival scenes were filmed at ground level.

    Southwest Marine began life in 1917 as The Bethlehem Shipyard, where ships were built, then later evolved into a ship-repair facility that thrived while the Navy yards were stationed in Long Beach.  But when the Navy left town after WW2, their business dried up, and now most (perhaps all) of their income comes from renting out its colorful, rusty, warehouses to filmmakers.

    The old facility is a very popular location when it comes to shooting ship docks and old warehouses. Other productions filmed there include "Next", "Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle" and "Hollywood Homicide", and an episode of TV's "Heroes".

    Whenever filmmakers are looking for some place that looks really rugged & industrial, especially if they're looking for a seaside area, they think of Southwest Marine.

    (They even have their own website, at )

    I shot the photos below in 2009, from Ports O'Call Village, across the main channel.

    In the same San Pedro area (during the third season), the "Dexter" crew also filmed the scene of Teegan's murder, Freebo's house, and the pier where Dexter and Miguel Prado argue.

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

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

    A. This was an easy one. I had found Southwest Marine before for several other movies, and assumed it was it as soon as I saw the scene.  I then compared the clip to online photos of the warehouse interior, and the "Dexter" shot at 44:34 is a perfect match for this online photo.

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