Dexter Filming Locations: the Boardwalk café.


The location: Boardwalk Cafe.

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

    A. An outdoor cafe, "Sandra's at the Pointe".

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

    A. Somewhere in Miami, on a boardwalk, next to a marina.

Q. When did we see it on the show?

    A. In Episode 3 (of Season 3), "The Lion Sleeps Tonight".

    Earlier in this episode, Dexter spotted a stranger talking to Rita's daughter (Astor) in a supermarket, and thought he was a possible child predator.

    So, Dexter looked him up on the police computer and found that his name was Nathan Marten, and that he had served time for offenses as a child molester.

    Later, he saw the same man shooting photos of young Astor while on a beach with Rita.

    Since Marten doesn't quite fit Dexter's code (he hasn't killed anyone), Dexter decides to personally confront him (rather than simply kill him).

    In this scene, Dexter finds Nathan Marten dining at a table in an upscale sidewalk café named "Sandra's at the Pointe". He still has his camera with him, and he is watching children play nearby.

    Dexter sits down at his table (uninvited), and bluntly warns Marten to "stay away from my kids".

    Marten pretends not to understand. Dexter tells him he knows who he is, and what he is.

    That prompts Marten to say that he's a changed man, that he has learned his lesson.

    To which Dexter replies: "You haven't changed.  It's impossible.  We are what we are." And then he leaves.

    Later in the episode, Dexter returns to Marten's house at night, breaks in, catches him looking at photos of Astor on his computer - and kills him.

Q. What is it actually in real life?

    A. A fake restaurant they created on a stretch of boardwalk.

Q. Where can I find it in real life?

    A. This scene was filmed on the boardwalk at Shoreline Village, in Long Beach, where they have filmed a number of scenes over the years.

    Shoreline Village is a colorful, tourist-oriented shopping & dining village that shares the area with the nearby Aquarium of the Pacific, Rainbow Harbor, Shoreline Aquatic Park and (across the bay) the Queen Mary. The wood boardwalk runs along the inner edge of the Village, overlooking the nearby Shoreline Marina.

    Although there are a few tables here and there on the boardwalk (there are some for a nearby pizza place, for instance), this particular café is a mere invention of the "Dexter" crew. They simply set up a few tables & chairs, along with tablecloths & flowers, and added a sign reading: "Sandra's at the Pointe - fine dining dockside".

    The opening pan, which shows the Shoreline marina and the downtown Long Beach skyline behind it, also reveals the imaginary cafe's exact location: near the middle of the north side of the village, just west of Springbok's Bar & Grille (where they filmed the bar scene with Ramon Prado).

    And it's just a short walk east to Tequila Jack's, where they've filmed a number of Dexter scenes. When the camera is facing Marten (looking west), you can almost glimpse the lighthouse atop a grassy knoll at nearby Shoreline Park.

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

    I shot the photos below in 2009. In the top photo, we are looking east. In the bottom photo, we are looking west.

    The area is very close to where they filmed many other Dexter scenes this season, including the second Skinner killing, Prado's Cuban Festival, the Wendell Owens murder scene, and the scene under the bridge with the bloody shirt.

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

    A. I've been to Shoreline Village many times, and the opening pan for this scene showed enough of the Village and its nearby marina for me to recognize it instantly.  A closer look revealed the white latticework of an open patio area near the middle of the boardwalk, making it easy to pinpoint the exact location.

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