Village Roadshow Ltd and Indoor Skydive Australia Group Ltd: 2 leisure and entertainment stocks to know

Theme parks, film production and simulated parachuting attract customers and investors.

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Leisure and entertainment companies are fun for stock pickers and investors to research because you can actually go and sample the service, and while you're out with the family having a great time, you can keep track of how many other people are doing the same. Here are two companies that you should know – one for its films and theme parks, and a new company that will send you flying, literally.

Village Roadshow Ltd (ASX: VRL), the entertainment and media company involved in film production, distribution and exhibition also operates theme parks in Australia and the US. It had a decent 8.5% increase in NPAT in 2013 to $57.3 million on $936.2 million in revenue.

During 2013 it released the Baz Luhrmann production, The Great Gatsby and Gangster Squad starring Sean Penn. For 2014, the company is planning to meet its new goal of six to eight film releases per year with titles like The Lego Movie with Will Ferrell, In the Heart of the Sea with Chris Hemsworth, and Mad Max: Fury Road with Tom Hardy and Charlize Theron.

Its latest theme park opened in December, Wet 'n' Wild Sydney is the largest water theme park in the southern hemisphere. It had some problems around the opening with a cancellation of its New Year's Eve celebration, but that was more attributed to the third-party event organisers than the company.

Its next project is developing a water theme park on the Chinese vacation island of Hainan, which is currently under construction and slated for opening in late calendar-year 2014. It will open in a period of recently expanding Chinese tourist activity, so it expects park visitors to be plentiful in number.

It is the largest operator of theme parks in Australia such as Wet 'n' Wild, Warner Bros. MovieWorld and Sea World. Recently, the Queensland state government has joined with the company and other Gold Coast theme park operators to promote tourism in the state with TV ads.

Another leisure activity business that will draw attention is Indoor Skydive Australia Group Ltd (ASX: IDZ). Its first facilities are still under construction and anticipation for the first indoor vertical wind tunnel in Australia that allows people to simulate parachuting is already evident, by the opening reservation promotion being sold out.

Its first centre will be in Penrith, NSW, but it has plans to construct others in Melbourne, Perth and Brisbane. Parachutists will be able to practice their dives and coordinated movement in the vertical wind tunnel, without the time of flying in a plane, and the company will offer parachute training for new enthusiasts. The military may take advantage of the facilities for soldier parachute training as well.

The share price has been flying since it listed in January 2013 at around $0.17c a share, it's now up to $0.65c, or 282%. The Penrith facilities are expected to be complete by the later part of the first quarter 2014.

Foolish takeaway

Consumers are always looking for entertainment and as the economy gets past the first part of a cyclical upturn, increases in personal consumption will find their way into leisure activities and entertainment.

Motley Fool contributor Darryl Daté-Shappard does not own shares in any company mentioned. 

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