Dexter Filming Locations: The Police Station / Studio


The location: The Police Station.

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

    A. The Miami Metro Police Station, where Dexter works.

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

    A. In Miami, Florida.

Q. When did we see it on the show?

    A. In almost every episode.

    Dexter works there as a blood-splatter expert, so when he isn't out killing someone (or visiting Rita), he spends a lot of time at the police station, interacting with co-workers Angel, Masuka, LaGuerta, Doakes - and his sister Debra (who also works there, as a cop).

    Often we see only the interior, and sometimes we see the outside of the station.

    One example of the exterior is in Episode 5 (of season one), "Love American Style", at around 10:17.

Q. What is it actually in real life?

    A. It's a little complicated.

    In the first season, the police headquarters was just a false front that they built against the blank side of a large sound stage at Sunset-Gower studios. That's why, during those exterior scenes, you usually never see anything beyond the front of the building and the "parking lot".

    The interior of the police station, of course, was just a studio set, built inside Sound Stage 16.  (Other permanent sets for "Dexter" include the interior of Dexter's apartment and the interior of Rita's home).

    You still see this parking lot quite often on the show.

    In the second season, the producers got more creative and started branching out.

    And they also shot short scenes (supposedly at the police station) in:

    So, in real life, the Miami Metro Police Headquarters is actually an amalgam of at least five different locations.

Q. Where can I find it in real life?

    A. Sunset-Gower Studios can be found (appropriately enough) at the southeast corner of Sunset Boulevard & Gower Street. The address is 1438 N. Gower Street, in Hollywood.

    "Dexter" is filmed inside Sound Stage 16, which is near the southeast corner of the studio, as seen on the map below.

    The police station exterior was created in the parking lot on the east side of Stage 15.

    When you see scenes set in the police parking lot, including those lunch scenes with a catering truck, most of those were in the parking lot just outside that same sound stage, in the southeast corner of the studio (Fountain Ave & Gordon St.)

    But you can't get inside the studio unless you have business there (or are attending a taping).

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

    A. While looking at the exterior scenes of the police station, trying to figure out where it was, I was struck by how limited the views were, and how similar the shots were, time after time. I suspected that it might just be a false front at the studio lot. Eventually, I was able to verify this with someone who worked on the show.

    To pinpoint the exact spot at the studio, I took a look at Episode 5, "Love American Style", where Dexter talks to a cop in the police parking lot. As the camera follows him, and turns to the east, you can briefly see the buildings across the street, and I was able to match them via Live Local aerial photos to the buildings on Gordon Street, just north of Fountain Avenue. Which meant that they had set up shop in the small Fountain parking lot, inside the studio walls, at the northwest corner of Gordon & Fountain (on the east side of Stages 15 & 16).

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