The Grove honored Kobe, Gigi Bryant and the 7 other lives lost in a tragic helicopter crash by doing something it had never done in its 18-year history ... shutting off its famed rooftop sign and blasting a special lights tribute.
The famed L.A. mall beamed 9 rays of light Monday as the sun set ... and they joined together as one in the heavens to honor the victims from the January helicopter crash. Billionaire real estate developer Rick Caruso, who owns The Grove, said it's the first time The Grove has EVER turned off its famous Grove sign.
L.A. and the rest of the world said one last goodbye to the NBA legend and Gigi on Monday in front of a packed Staples Center crowd. We got Caruso leaving Craig's later that night and he said the tribute was a one-night event.
Caruso also tells us how he got the idea to honor the victims. Our guy asks Caruso if The Grove will erect a Kobe statue ... and Caruso's response should come as no surprise.
BTW ... Kobe was no stranger to The Grove. He'd drop into the mall's famed Nike store every now and then. He also had a meet and greet at the mall's Barnes & Noble when he was there to promote his book "The Mamba Mentality: How I Play" in 2018.