Dexter Filming Locations: Jonah Mitchell's Hardware Store

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

The location: Jonah Mitchell's Hardware Store

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

    A. Gene's Hardware store.

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

    A. In Kearney, Nebraska.

Q. When did we see it on the show?

    A. In Episode 7, of Season 6, "Nebraska".

    Dexter drives to Nebraska (with his imaginary dead brother, Brian, the Ice Truck Killer), and comes to this hardware store to confront Jonah Mitchell, the son of the Trinity Killer.

    Jonah's sister & mother have been murdered, and Jonah told police that he saw the Trinity Killer do it - something Dexter knows is impossible, since he personally killed Arthur Mitchell.

    At the hardware store, where Jonah works, Dexter is surprised that Jonah knows his real name (since he had used the alias "Kyle Butler" when he was around the Mitchell family).

    Jonah says that they saw him on TV, as Dexter Morgan, in news reports after Rita was killed. But they believed that he was trying to help their family, so they didn't tell the FBI about him.

    Jonah continues to lie, telling Dexter a detailed story about how his (dead) father supposedly killed his mother and sister.

    We return to this hardware store later in the same episode, after Dexter has visited the Mitchell house, and gathered enough evidence to convince himself that Jonah killed his family.

    Jonah is expecting him, and attacks him with a sharpened bailing hook.  Dexter easily subdues him, but is surprised when Jonah begs him to kill him.

    Despite prompting from "Brian", he resists the urge, and asks Jonah what really happened.  He says that their Mom continued to love their murderous father, waited for him to return, and made life miserable for him and his sister.  When his sister committed suicide, Jonah snapped and killed his mother.

    Dexter backs off, concerned about the parallels between Jonah and his own child, Harrison - both the sons of a serial killer.  He lets Jonah live.

    In the parking lot, Dexter disposes of his imaginary evil brother.  Jonah runs out to his car and asks how he can live with this.  Taking a page from Brother Sam, Dexter tells him to  forgive himself - before driving away.

Q. What is it actually in real life?

    A. A hardware store - just not in Nebraska.

Q. Where can I find it in real life?

A. This is Pacific True Value Hardware, located at 1135 S. Pacific Ave, in downtown San Pedro, CA.

That's on the west side of Pacific, between 11th and 12th Streets.

San Pedro, part of the Los Angeles harbor area, lies at the south end of the Harbor (110) Freeway.

They've shot a lot in San Pedro over the years, including Freebo's house, the gang housing project, the church where they held Paul's funeral, the cargo container yard where Doakes confronted Dexter, Debra's Blue Moon bar, Little Chino's party house, the cafe where Lumen & Dexter talked, the Cuban marketplace where Dexter buys Lumen a knife, and even as Miami International Airport.

Here's a photo I shot of the front of the store, in November 2011, looking west/southwest:

The parking lot scenes were shot in the small lot behind the store, where they set up a table & chairs (and a few planters) next to a small shed/garage right behind the store's rear entrance.  They painted the east side of that shed a reddish brown, added a mural/sign (reading "Gene's Hardware") to the back of the main building, and also moved in a large tractor on a flatbed, to set the country mood.

Here's a screencap of the lot scene:

Here's a photo of the same lot, which I shot in November 2011.  (Note that the shed has been repainted white, the mural replace by the usual True Value sign, and there's a pickup truck parked where the tables were.):

Here is an aerial photo of the store & lot.  Here is a Google StreetView.
  And here
is a map link.

The earlier scene of Dexter driving into Kearney, on his way to the hardware store, was shot just a couple of blocks away.  Dexter's car was traveling south on Pacific Avenue, approaching 10th Street, with the camera looking southeast.  In that driving scene, you can see a slanted sign reading "Indian" at the corner of a nearby building.  That is the Indian Room bar, at 952 Pacific.  The blue awnings seen a bit farther down the street belong to Pacific Home Furniture, at 1002 Pacific.

Here's a screencap of that driving scene:

And here's a matching photo I shot (in November 2011), looking southeast down Pacific Avenue:

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 were filming in San Pedro, back in late July, with a number of possible locations, including this hardware store, and some storefronts on 7th & Centre Streets.  So I headed down there to check things out.

    I spotted nothing going on at 7th or Centre (for some reason, they seem to have decided against using those spots), but I did spot a little action outside the True Value Hardware.  But not as much as usual.  So my hunch (which proved correct) was that they were probably filming mostly inside or behind the store.

    After the scene aired, I came back to shoot the matching photos you see above.

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