The location: The Bowling Alley.

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

    A. A bowling alley.


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

    A. In Dade City, Florida.


Q. When did we see it on the show?

    A. In Episode 9 (of Season 1), "Father Knows Best".

    After Dexter unexpectedly inherits a house from the biological father he had never met, he learns that the man may have been murdered.

    To cover up the crime, someone had the body cremated, so Dexter is left not knowing what to do with his father's ashes.

    He is about to throw them away, when Rudy suggests a more appropriate place to scatter them.

    His father was an avid bowler, so Dexter & Rudy go to a bowling alley (after dark), and scatter the ashes on the lawn in front of the alley.


Q. What is it actually in real life?

    A. A hotel. Since the scene was shot after dark, they simply put up a neon bowling sign to give the illusion that it was the exterior of a bowling alley.


Q. Where can I find it in real life?

    A. It's the very same Long Beach hotel that was used (in the very next episode) as the Paul Bennett's motel, but they shot the scenes in two completely different parts of the hotel.

    It's known as the Seaport Marina Hotel, and is located at 6400 Pacific Coast Highway, in Long Beach, CA, at the corner of Pacific Coast Highway & Second Street, just northeast of the Naples/Belmont Shore area, and about a mile northwest of the Seal Beach (Orange County) border.

    For these bowling alley scenes, they went around to the back (west) side of the motel, put up a fake bowling sign, and shot at the rear entrance to the hotel's lobby/office. (For the motel room scenes in the next episode, they filmed inside the hotel's residential garden area to the east). Since it was a night shot anyway, they assumed that no one would notice.

    I shot the photo below in 2008. The red arrow marks a small oval patch of lawn right
    in front of this southwest entrance. where the ashes were scattered.


    Here is a map link.  And here is an aerial photo of the hotel from Live Local, with the area marked

    [ Warning: These are private rooms.  Do not knock on their doors,
    trespass on their property, or do anything else that might disturb the residents. ]

    ( Of course, there's no trace of the ashes now. Hollywood production companies are very conscientious about cleaning up after themselves, and always leave locations as they found them. )

    Elvis Presley stayed at this motel back in 1972 (when the hotel was known as the Edgewater Hyatt House), when Elvis was performing two concerts at the Long Beach Arena. And the hotel was also seen on an episode of "The O.C."

    ( Warning: As of 2007, word has it that this motel may be torn down soon to make way for a major retail/office project. )


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

    A. I had already scouted the Seaport Marina Hotel when I was tracking down filming locations for "The O.C." (where the same hotel was the location where Volchok was arrested in that show's final season), and had gone there to shoot photos for those OC pages. But given the night time shot in this episode, and the fact that they used the back side of the hotel, it wasn't all that recognizable.

    However, when I was researching the hotel's use in "Dexter" as Paul's motel (via Live Local photos), I spotted a part of the hotel that I thought might have been used for the bowling alley scenes.  So I went there in person and checked it out - and sure enough...



 
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The Dexter screenshots from the show and all related characters & elements are trademarks of and © Showtime.
All other photos & text are Copyright © 2011-Gary Wayne and may not be used without written permission.



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