We investigate the level of speckle that can be tolerated in a laser cinema projector. For this purpose, we equipped a movie theatre room with a prototype laser projector. A group of 186 participants was gathered to evaluate the speckle perception of several, short movie trailers in a subjective ‘Quality of Experience’ experiment. This study is important as the introduction of lasers in projection systems has been hampered by the presence of speckle in projected images. We identify a speckle disturbance threshold by statistically analyzing the observers’ responses for different values of the amount of speckle, which was monitored using a well-defined speckle measurement method. The analysis shows that the speckle perception of a human observer is not only dependent on the objectively measured amount of speckle, but it is also strongly influenced by the image content. As is also discussed in [Verschaffelt et al., Scientific Reports 5, art. nr. 14105, 2015] we find that, for moving images, the speckle becomes disturbing if the speckle contrast becomes larger than 6.9% for the red, 6.0% for the green, and 4.8% for the blue primary colors of the projector, whereas for still images the speckle detection threshold is about 3%. As we could not independently tune the speckle contrast of each of the primary colors, this speckle disturbance limit seems to be determined by the 6.9% speckle contrast of the red color as this primary color contains the largest amount of speckle. The speckle disturbance limit for movies thus turns out to be substantially larger than that for still images, and hence is easier to attain.