WATCH: San Diego's nightlife in 1979, captured in short documentary series

San Diego nightlife in 1979

In late 1979, News 8 assigned reporter Larry Himmel with the task of covering San Diego's hottest nightlife destinations. Over the course of five nights, Himmel explored club to club and discotheque to discotheque, all in the attempts of pinpointing what places were the go-to spots for San Diego's night crawlers.

What's most interesting, however, is to see the difference in San Diego immediately prior to the 1980s, before the city rapidly transformed. San Diego's reputation then was still that of a small-town paradise. No convention center, waterfront hotels or downtown towers covered our skyline. The Gaslamp, devoid of Horton Plaza, was still a cesspool designed for sailors and fiends to venture and score their respective vices.

In a time where the national epidemic of disco's decadal onslaught was finally beginning to recede; hip hop and electronic music were still just embryonic regional sounds on the other side of the country; and rock music's greatest releases were mostly aimed at a counterculture; it's interesting to see how our city adapted to the transitional period that was occurring on a national scale from the '70s and into the '80s, and even locally. No downtown nightclubs, PB ragers, North Park hipsters -- just folks turning up in Mission Valley, the "epicenter of San Diego's nightlife"... which, to be honest, thank god is no longer the case.

Watch Himmel's five-part coverage below and revel in the bell bottoms, impressive dance moves and short interviews with local folks who were just out trying to have a good time over 40 years ago.