Dexter Filming Locations: The Swamp bar (exterior)


The location: "The Swamp" bar.  (exterior)

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

    A. A sleazy bar called "The Swamp".

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

    A. At 410 Industrial Parkway, in Naples, Florida.

Q. When did we see it on the show?

    A. In Episode 8 (of Season 2), "Morning Comes".

    (We also saw the interior of the bar in Episode 5, but that's a separate location.)

    We see Dexter, parked in a car, watching as Santos Jiminez, the man who murdered Dexter's mother, emerges from a small corner bar called "The Swamp".

    Jiminez gets into his own car and drives away. Dexter follows him. Eventually, they wind up at Jiminez 's cabin in the Everglades, where Dexter kills him.

Q. What is it actually in real life?

    A. As of 2009, it's just an empty building, but far from Miami.

Q. Where can I find it in real life?

    A. It's at 6000 Fountain Ave, on the southwest corner of Fountain Avenue & Gordon Street, in Hollywood, CA.

    (This building was only used for the exterior shots.  The interior shots, from Episode 5, were filmed in a real bar.)

    Currently empty, this storefront is at the east end of a run down strip mall, that contains (among other things) a furniture store (in the spot where the blue awning still reads "Party Supplies"), a beauty salon, a small market and an upholstery store.

    The set dressers changed the look of it a bit. The palm tree you see out front, for instance, is fake. The signs saying "The Swamp" are fake, of course. The ragged posters you see on the wall were put there to hide windows (since most small bars don't have windows). And in real life, there are security bars on both the doors & windows.

    They either painted it green, or they temporarily erected a fake thin plywood exterior to cover up the real building.

    [I shot the photo below in early 2009 ]

    It's literally right across the street from (south of) the Sunset-Gower studio, where they film "Dexter".

    It's also just a block east of the location where they filmed Lila leaving her apartment (although the apartment itself isn't there).

    Click here to read about the interior of "The Swamp".

    They used the other (west) end of this same strip mall in Episode 12 of Season 3.

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

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

    A. This one really had me stumped. I eventually stumbled upon it almost by accident.

    At first, I thought it was probably near downtown Long Beach, but I eventually eliminated that possibility.

    I knew that the street address was almost certainly 6000, because of the blue awning on the shop next door that reads "6002". So I checked dozens of 6000 street addresses, without success.

    But I didn't really consider looking in Hollywood. Most of the scenes in Dexter are shot in the Long Beach/San Pedro area, with a few scenes shot on the west side, in the Marina Del Rey/Santa Monica area. Despite the studio being located in Hollywood, they just didn't seem to film nearby. I was wrong to assume that...

    I learned of the location of the scene where Lila runs out to her car (thanks to a fan named Todd), and hoping that Lila's actual apartment would be nearby, I started searching the surrounding area.  I never found Lila's place, but I had only gone one block east when I ran smack dab into "The Swamp". I recognized it instantly, thanks to that blue awning. Then it was just a matter of comparing a screencap of the bar to a Google StreetView image of the building to be positive.

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