A microelectromechanical (MEM) apparatus is disclosed which includes a platform that can be electrostatically tilted from being parallel to a substrate on which the platform to being tilted at an angle of 1 20 degrees with respect to the substrate. Once the platform has been tilted to a maximum angle of tilt, the platform can be locked in position using an electrostatically-operable latching mechanism which engages a tab protruding below the platform. The platform has a light-reflective upper surface which can be optionally coated to provide an enhanced reflectivity and form a micromirror. An array of such micromirrors can be formed on a common substrate for applications including optical switching (e.g. for fiber optic communications), optical information processing, image projection displays or non-volatile optical memories.