Dexter Filming Locations: The Beer Fest

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

The location: The Beer Fest

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

    A. A public Beer Festival.

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 6, of Season 6, "Just Let Go".

    The episode opens with this scene of Dexter stalking Travis through an outdoor market or street festival, hoping he will lead him to the mastermind of the Doomsday murders, Professor Gellar.

    Signs overhead read "BierFest", as Dexter wends his way through the crowd, trying to keep an eye on Travis.

    But suddenly, Dexter's phone rings.  It's Debra, telling him that Brother Sam has been shot.  Dexter leaves to go to the hospital.

    The scene continues without Dexter, as Travis meets with Gellar, who picks out some "sufficiently tawdry" clothes for the captive woman he plans to display in his next bloody tableau as "The Whore of Babylon".

    Travis says that their captive is in pain, with a broken arm (from the violent abduction), and asks if he can buy her some pain killers.  Gellar says no, that she's an unrepentant whore, and is getting what's coming to her.

    Gellar asks Travis if he has branded her.  The thought obviously disturbs Travis, who says he hasn't yet.  Gellar warns him that if he doesn't do what is expected of him, he will die with all the rest of "the scum".

Q. What is it actually in real life?

    A. A public street, and a passageway between two condo buildings.

Q. Where can I find it in real life?

    A. This scene was shot on a section of the downtown Long Beach Promenade (a pedestrian-only street), in Long Beach, CA.

    They shot it between Broadway (on the north) and 1st Street (on the south).

    The blue fountains (with their water-spouting fish) are on a side street, off the west side of the Promenade, a passageway that runs (east/west) between two parts of the "133 Promenade" condo development.

    (That passageway is marked on Google maps as part of E. Alta Way, but it doesn't map at all on Bing or Yahoo maps.)

    When we first see Travis & Dexter, they are walking from west to east in this passageway.  (It's actually a rather short stretch.  The TV scene - and even my own photos below - make the street look longer than it really is.)

    The tall blue building seen in the background (and in my photo below) is the old City Hall East, at 100 Long Beach Blvd.

    They then emerge onto the main Promenade, and walk north, through a maze of festival booths.

    The Long Beach Promenade is really just the south end of Locust Avenue.  Decades ago, when they built the (then) new Long Beach Plaza Mall (at the north end of what is now the Promenade), they sealed off Locust to traffic, south of the mall, and turned it into a pedestrian-only promenade.  The idea was that people would be able to stroll from the mall (at the north end) down to the Long Beach Convention & Entertainment Center on Ocean Blvd (to the south), and that the route in between would blossom into some pedestrian/retail utopia.

    Alas, that never happened. In the 1970's, Long Beach was going through a rough economic period, and downtown was pretty ratty at the time. The Long Beach Plaza mall failed miserably. The downtown denizens simply couldn't support it.  So it closed and sat empty for years, before being torn down and replaced by a simpler outdoor shopping center featuring a Walmart.

    Although Long Beach eventually recovered, and worked a virtual miracle with their downtown & waterside renovation, the poor Promenade never really caught on. Nor did it ever drew the expected crowds of pedestrians.  It remained a mostly underused thoroughfare - as most of the retail/restaurant action shifted to nearby Pine Avenue.

    Most recently they have been building residential condos on each side of the Promenade - which is certainly an improvement - even if it isn't what they initially imagined for the walkway .  These fountains are part of one recent condo development there.

    I shot the photos below in November 2011.

    (In the first two photos, the camera is looking east, towards the Promenade.)

    (In the shot below, the camera is looking west, towards Pine Ave.)

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

    Here is a Google StreetView, looking south down the Promenade from Broadway.

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 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 locations.

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

    Rick let me know that they had filmed something on the Promenade, so I kept an eye out for it.  When I spotted this scene, my first guess was that this must be the Promenade, but I didn't remember ever seeing those fountains on Promenade during my visits there.  So I checked aerial photos, and there were no fountains to be seen there, either.

    Then, I realized two things: One, the fountains aren't on the Promenade itself, but rather on a side street.  And two, those fountains didn't exist when most of those aerial photos were shot - 133 Promenade is apparently a rather recent development.  Most aerial photos show only construction under way, where the fountains are now.  But when I Googled for "fountains, long beach promenade", I came up with a page about the 133 project.

    So I grabbed my camera and drove down there to check it out in person.  Sure enough, it was the right place.

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