Dexter Filming Locations: Dexter Backs Into a Dumpster

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

The location: Dexter Backs Into a Dumpster

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

    A. A parking lot.

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 2, of Season 6, "Once Upon a Time..."

    In a short scene, we see Dexter walk into the parking lot.  There is a large, colorful mural on the wall behind him, touting "Fun in the Sun in Miami". 

    There are two large trash dumpsters sitting against the wall.

    Dexter gets into his car, looks at the dumpsters in his rear-view mirror, and then deliberately backs into the dumpster, smashing his car's fender.

    Why?  Because he is stalking Brother Sam, an ex-con who runs "Good Shepherd Auto Repair", and a damaged fender will give Dexter an excuse to visit the garage - and spy on Brother Sam.

    After he runs into the dumpster, Dex gets out of his car and inspects the damage, thinking: "Good thing I have just the place to get this fixed."

Q. What is it actually in real life?

    A. Part of an alleyway behind a building.

Q. Where can I find it in real life?

    A. This was shot in the rear of a light industrial building at 2400 Gundry Avenue, in Signal Hill, CA., at the northeast corner of Gundry & Burnett.

    While the front of the building faces Gundry Ave, this back lot is actually on the north side of Burnett Street, just west of Brother Sam's
    "Good Shepherd Auto Repair"

    The camera was looking west/southwest as Dexter walks (north) off Burnett St and into the lot.  He then backs up (west) into the dumpsters.

    The dumpsters aren't there in real life.  And neither is the Miami mural, of course.

    You can see what the place really looks like in my photos below.

    I shot the photos below in October 2011.

    The first photo shows roughly the same view seen on the show (minus the fake mural
    and dumpsters, of course), with the camera looking west.

    The second photo has the camera looking northwest, so you can see part of the adjacent alley.

    And, in case you wondered what the front of this building looks like - here it is (with the camera looking northeast).

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

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, and others. My thanks to all of them.

    Knowing that the Dexter producers have a tendency to cluster-shoot, I figured a parking lot was generic enough that they almost certainly would have just shot it near some other location.  So, after watching the episode, I guessed that it would be near one of three locations: the barber shop, the studio, or near Brother Sam's.

    I checked the area near the barber shop first, looking for the building that can be see across the street in the background (and for those big trees).

    When I didn't find it there, I moved on the Signal Hill, and used Google StreetView to "drive" down Burnett Street.  And sure enough, there was that building from the background, on the south side of Burnett (it turned out to be 1390 E. Burnett).

    I then positioned StreetView to where the view of that building matched the view on the show, then rotated StreetView to the other side of the street - and there was the "parking lot" and wall I was looking for.  A quick comparison confirmed they were one and the same.

    I then went to the spot in person and shot the matching photos you see above.

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