Marriott Corp., the large local food and hotel chain, yesterday reported a decline in second quarter profits to $5.34 million (15 cents a share) from $6.87 million (20 cents) for the second quarter last year.

Marriott had forecast an earnings decline in its second quarter which ended Feb. 11, because of high costs of the company's two new theme parks which were not open for business a year ago and which are closed for the season now.

President J. Willard Marriott Jr. said the parks will contribute substantially to the company's profits during its first and fourth quarters and penalize them somewhat in between because the parks will be closed for the winter.

Several other large local companies reported learnings yesterday, including:

Peoples Drug Stores, Inc., which had net income of $2.07 million (56 cents) for the 16 weeks ended Jan. 15, compared with $1.4 million (38 cents) for the 16 weeks and four days ended Jan. 24, 1976. The year earlier comparison assumes that Peoples had been merged with Lane Drug Corp. on Oct. 1, 1975 - a merger which actually took effect June 30, 1976.

Government Employees Life Insurance Co., which recorded net income of $7.29 million ($1.63 a share) for 1976, compared with $6.66 million ($1.49) in $975.Gelico said its total premium income was $27.44 million, up 8 per cent from 1975's $25.39 million, while investment income was $8.25 million, up 18 per cent from the $7.06 million it earned the year before.

Equitable General Corp., which controls Equitable Life Insurance Co., with earnings of $9.1 million ($2.78 a share) compared with $8 million ($2.42 a share) in 1975.

Marriott said that while its earnings dropped because of the expenses of the theme parks in the second quarter, sales increased to $274 million from $242.9 million during the second quarter last year.

Marriott said that the theme parks "will penalize earnings in the third quarter as well. But in fiscal 1978 we will be back to normal with a comparable year-to-year quarterly profile."

Restaurant sales were up 7 per cent in the second quarter, but profits were down two-thirds because of winter weather continuing losses in the Farrell's division and higher labor costs throughout the group. The cold weather in the northeast and midwest, where 60 per cent of Marriott's restaurants are located, hurt sales.

Sales for the hotel group - which included its condominium developments - rose 13 per cent but overall profits were off slightly because only two condominiums were sold this year compared with 60 last year. All Camelback Inn condominium units are now sold out.

Contract food services increased sales by 15 per cent, but earnings were up only 8 per cent, "primarily because of delays in obtaining needed price increases in airline catering, higher wage costs and lower initial productivity for several new flight kitchens."

Peoples Drug chairman Adrian C. Israel and president Sheldon W. Fantle said the first quarter profits picture "clearly represents an improvement over the similar period last year." Peoples' sales - adjusted as if the Lane merger had already taken place a year go - were $121.3 million for the 16 weeks ended Jan. 15, compared with $113.9 million in the 16 weeks and four days ended Jan. 24, 1976.