Allow me to clarify: A movie ticket allows you to see it once. Recording that is quite plainly a violation of copyright. Your ticket gives you a one-time schedule viewing of a piece of content. The end.
Buying a copy of a movie (hypothetically) allows you to enjoy it an unlimited number of views for an infinite amount of time. Because the MPAA are afraid of those people who would exploit these copies by illicitly sharing and/or selling their own reproductions to others, they hinder the ability of all users to enjoy their product on whatever device they choose to view it on. The DMCA (awful as it is) allows for Fair Use, a clause that the MPAA (in my non-lawyer opinion) leaves lying bloodied and beat up in a dumpster, helpless, but still doesn't outright break.
So to borrow your turn of phrase: In a theater you're on their terms, therefore they're not being ***hats. In my home where I own a collection of devices that, due to their restrictions, may not all play my legally purchased content, they are being ***hats. Just because they generally seem to be a bunch of **hats who try to screw over everyone doesn't mean everything they do is ***hat-ery.