Dexter Filming Locations: The Tooth Fairy's Bus Stop
location: The Tooth Fairy's Bus Stop
What is it supposed to be on the show?
A. A bus stop.
Where is it supposed to be on the show?
A. At 321 Alatka Street, in Miami.
When did we see it on the show?
A. In Episode 3, of Season 6, "Smokey and the Bandit".
Dexter had earlier dropped off Walter Kenny ("The Tooth Fairy") at his storage facility.
Dexter is somewhat surprised (as he drives his car at night, thinking
about how he's going to kill Walter) to suddenly get a call from him.
old man has worked himself into a frenzy. He tells Dexter that
he's lost, that he got off the bus at the wrong stop, and doesn't know
where he is.
Dexter is pleased that his victim is making it so easy to find & kill him...
asks Walter what address is on the bus stop, and Water tells him it's
321 Alatka. Dexter tells him he'll be there in 10 minutes.
we see Dexter's car pull up and pick up Walter, who expresses his
gratitude. Just when Dexter is beginning to feel a little pity
for the old guy, Walter suddenly pulls a gun on him.
What is it actually in real life?
A. A street corner.
Where can I find it in real life?
A. This is the northeast corner of Cowles Street and San Francisco Ave, in a rather bleak industrial corridor of west Long Beach, CA.
Walter is standing in front a warehouse property at 899 Cowles St.
There is no actual bus stop here - they added that.
When the camera is behind Walter (see the top photo on this page),
and you see a building with large, checkered windows, you are looking
south at the side of a brick building across the street, on the south side of
Cowles (its address is 1444 San Francisco Ave).
When Dexter arrives in his car, he's heading west on Cowles, with the camera looking east.
Why such an obscure location, when there are real bus stops all over town?
Since most street corners look alike, they just opted to use a corner near another location where they were already filming. The car crash scene that follows this bus stop scene was shot just two blocks down the road from this corner.
Of course, this
industrial corridor is also a slightly odd choice even for the car
crash scene. I suspect the scouts discovered the area when they
were looking for a warehouse for this season's opening scene
(where Dexter is "stabbed"). They filmed that stabbing scene just
a short distance from both the bus stop and car crash scenes.
Speaking of the
neighborhood, it's not the sort of place you'd want to visit as a
tourist. This stretch of San Francisco Ave is located between
Pacific Coast Highway (to the north) and Anaheim Street (to the
south). It's the last street to the west before the Los Angeles
River and the Long Beach (710) freeway. PCH represents sort of a
dividing line here: north of PCH, there's a nice residential
neighborhood, but south of PCH is strictly industrial.
There is a second (earlier) bus stop scene as well, a day time scene where Dexter watches Walter get on his bus.
That short scene wasn't shot
here. Instead, they just plopped down a fake bus bench on the north
side of Pacific Coast Highway, in front of the storage facility where they had filmed earlier.
I shot the photos below in October 2011. (The camera is looking northeast.)
(The red X marks the spot where they set up the fake bus stop.)
And this is the street Dexter drove down (at night) as he arrived at the bus stop.
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 6th 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, my own personal reconnaissance around town, and a
few new resources I discovered, 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
This group of helpful fans includes Kerry, Rick, Ellen, Susan, Jason, Elaine, Joel, Julie, Geoff, Jeff, and others. My thanks to all of them.