A “Killer” Place for TV
Long Beach created a home for the homicidal Dexter Morgan. Set in Miami, “Dexter” shot extensively in Long Beach, and you’d be hard-pressed to find a place that the hit television show did not film at during its eight seasons on air. Jason Kaplon, the show’s location manager for 57 episodes, worked for years in Long Beach scouting the locations used in the show from 2009 to 2013.
“Long Beach is a perfect match to Miami, so it was just natural to go there,” Kaplon said. He named a few of the places where Michael C. Hall’s Dexter Morgan left his blood-spattered fingerprints.
“We had a lot of shots on the Queensway Bridge—we discovered a body under there in one episode,” Kaplon said. “We also shot at Mother’s Beach, El Dorado Park a bunch of times, The Maya Hotel, SeaPort Marina Hotel, we shut down Loynes Drive—we used that as a highway—we filmed at Long Beach State for a whole episode. We shot all over Long Beach, anywhere you could think of.”
Kaplon cited one particular scene that he will never forget, involving real horses running down a popular Long Beach thoroughfare. In season six episode three, the Four Horses of the Apocalypse are seen galloping down the 300 block of Seaside Way just below the Aqua Condo Towers off of Ocean Boulevard. The horses were led by camera car during the filming of the scene. And while watching the episode, you might spot the parking garage for the Long Beach Convention Center on the south side of the street.
“We had a lot of weird scenes like that,” Kalpon said. “Everyone was so welcoming. We closed streets all the time, and whenever we threw the name of the show out, everyone in Long Beach was like, ‘Oh yeah, that’s our show.’ We always felt at home in Long Beach, so that was nice.”
All of the homes of key characters in “Dexter” were also shot in Long Beach. Dexter himself, and his wife Rita, lived in a house on First Street. The Trinity Killer from season four, played by John Lithgow, resided in a house in Bixby Knolls.
“The neighbors were fantastic there,” said Kaplon, who is pictured with actor David Zayas who portrayed Sgt. Angel Bautista. In another photo, he is seen with the show’s production manager, Gary Law.
“‘Dexter’ has been one of my favorite jobs to date for sure,” Kaplon said. Kaplon has brought other shows to Long Beach, including “Cold Case,” “The Fosters,” and more recently, Amazon Studio’s “Goliath,” starring Billy Bob Thornton.