A microelectromechanical (MEM) apparatus is disclosed which has a platform that can be elevated above a substrate and tilted at an arbitrary angle using a plurality of flexible members which support the platform and control its movement. Each flexible member is further controlled by one or more MEM actuators which act to bend the flexible member. The MEM actuators can be electrostatic comb actuators or vertical zip actuators, or a combination thereof. The MEM apparatus can include a mirror coating to form a programmable mirror for redirecting or switching one or more light beams for use in a projection display. The MEM apparatus with-the mirror coating also has applications for switching light beams between optical fibers for use in a local area fiber optic network, or for use in fiber optic telecommunications or data communications systems.